Core Process Oriented Skills 2: Working with Body Symptoms and Dreams

Core Process Oriented Skills 2: Working with Body Symptoms and Dreams

Unit Description

Learn and practice skills for working safely with unfolding sensory and grounded information present in body symptoms.

This 3-credit point unit introduces students to grounded, skills-based Process Oriented approaches for working somatically and with the unconscious. Body symptoms and dreams are viewed as symbolic doors to uncover unconscious meaning in holistic counselling and psychotherapy. Students will learn and practice skills for working safely with unfolding sensory and grounded information present in body symptoms in this unit. These are essential skills for working with trauma and psychosomatic presentations.

Students will also be introduced to Arnold Mindell’s concept of the dreambody and its evolution and will develop skills to unfold the message within dreams and body experiences with clients. Students will learn to differentiate between primary and secondary information in body work and dreams to enhance client awareness. Students will also deepen self-knowledge through experiential exercises embedded in timetabled and untimetabled study.

Unit Code


Unit Type

Core Unit

Study Period

Year 1, Semester 2

Credit Points


Unit Coordinator

Katrina Dickson

Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during the semester

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Competently apply somatic body symptom work in counselling practice and recognise contraindications for use
  2. Unpack information about clients’ body symptoms and the pain maker and discover each symptom’s unique message
  3. Differentiate between primary and secondary signals in body symptom and dreamwork
  4. Critically analyse the roots of a process-oriented approach to dream work and use symbolic thinking to unfold dreams
  5. Articulate and apply the concepts of the three levels of awareness, consensus reality, dreamland and essence, in practice sessions
  6. Recognise and utilise appropriate dream doors to enter the dreaming process for both body symptom work and working with dreams
  7. Assist clients to ground new information gained from body symptom work and dreamwork in their daily lives

Graduate Attributes

Attributes Statement
Collaboration Our graduates will have advanced skills in collaborating respectfully with colleagues, teams and clients to enhance productive outcomes and manage conflict skilfully
Ethical practice and integrity Our graduates will demonstrate high ethical standards in their work and follow professional Codes of Ethics to do good (beneficence) and avoid harm (maleficence)
Professionalism Our graduates will have a highly developed understanding of their work roles and responsibilities and uphold a high level of professional conduct in their work
Holistic awareness Our graduates will have an in-depth understanding of how the physical body, the psyche and mind/ spirit/self are in constant interaction and relationship with each other and with the environment
Communication Our graduates will have well-developed written and oral communication skills, including listening deeply and receiving, interpreting and transmitting complex information, on many levels of awareness with colleagues, clients and the community
Lifelong learning Our graduates will have the skills necessary to successfully manage their careers and continue their personal and professional development in rapidly changing environments across their career spans
Critical thinking Our graduates will have critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and analyse information and make informed professional judgements

Delivery Mode

  1. Delivery mode

Workshop intensives

On-campus workshop intensive 2: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Saturday 5 – Friday 11 February 2022

Twelve hours of teaching and learning

Online delivery

1.5 hour Zoom discussion

Study Buddy activities

Eight hours over the semester

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 7.34 hours per week over the semester, 117.5 hours in total.

  • 12 hours on-campus workshop intensives
  • 1.5 hours Zoom discussion
  • 8 hours study buddy work
  • 96 personal study hours

Created: April 27, 2021, 4:11 p.m. • Updated: Oct. 16, 2023, 2:06 p.m.