Return to Upcoming Programs and Events


Dear Friends
In 2010, I will again offer a six-month, advanced training program in the craft of Dream Tending. For more than 35 years, I have been working with dreams —researching and cultivating a unique approach to dreamwork that I have come to call Dream Tending. I’d like to briefly describe this approach and tell you about the training series I will be conducting.

Dream Tending arises out of certain philosophical assumptions: that psyche is nature revealing herself in images, that the nature of psyche is inherently multidimensional, and that the images of dreams give form (and body) to the various expressions of psychological life. Dream Tending is based on the premise that images are alive. They are continuously in process and engaged in an imaginal field of relationships, of which we are a part. In the practice of Dream Tending, we attend mindfully to the particularity of each image—discovering its nature, wondering about its activities, and listening to its experiences.

Dream Tending recognizes that in each moment images are evolving and dissolving, interacting with one another, and shaping the creative expression of their own being and becoming. In Dream Tending, we discover that we, too, are imaginal beings—imagining the very images that, in turn, imagine us.

This training is designed to be sympathetic with the multiple dimensions of psychic life and the dream. Part of the course explores dream theory and dream methodology. Some of our work will be experiential dream animation projects and Dream Tending clinical practice. Much of our learning, however, takes place in a third realm: a dimension of dream life that is sensitive to aesthetic perceiving, poetic imagining, shamanic intuiting, and the art of not-knowing.

The Dream Tending training program comprises the three courses that are described below.
Steve Aizenstat

Dr. Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and the founding president of Pacific Graduate Institute. For more than 35 years he has explored the power of dreams through the study of depth psychology and the pursuit of his own research. He has collaborated with many masters in the field, including Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, Robert Johnson, and James HIllman, as well as native elders worldwide. Dr. Aizenstat has conducted hundreds of dreamwork seminars throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.



This limited-enrollment, advanced training program in Dream Tending is scheduled over six, three-day sessions to be held between January and June, 2010. The sessions will take place at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus in Santa Barbara, California. Located on 35 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this residential retreat center provides a unique and peaceful environment for study and contemplation. The campus has lodging, dining facilities, and parking on site.

“The Living Image”
The “heartbeat” of Dream Tending is the concept of the “Living Image.”
We explore ideas from archetypal dream psychology as well as my own thinking about phenomenological dream methodology. We spend considerable time practicing phenomenological animation, an approach to tending the living dream image in the immediacy of its unfolding.

Here we recognize that dream images are alive. We experience them as
embodied beings, engaged in their activity, not ours. We discover that in the landscape of the dream we are guests for a time in the living, breathing ecology of psychic life. We come to acknowledge that psychic life is, by nature, alive and poetic—its language metaphorical, its rhythm musical.

• The Dreaming Psyche is Multi-Dimensional
• Dream Images are Alive
• Dream Images Have Body, Presence, and Pulse

• Phenomenological Dream Animation
• Active Imagination and the Living Image
• Interacting with the Embodied Image

• The Problem of Merging in Dreamwork
• Transference/Countertransference Dynamics
• The Experience of Eros in Working with Dream Imagery
• Opposition and Resistance in Dreamwork Animation

Praxis – Dream Animation:
An experiential project, the animation of dream images through artistic expression, connects us with the pulse of the living image. Students will bring special attention to a particular dream image (or images) to develop a dream animation art project suitable to their experience and preferences.

“Dreams: Medicines of the Soul”
Dream Tending as a healing art is the focus of the second course. We honor images as subtle bodies, intimately related to the physical (and emotional) body of the dreamer. We correlate the rhythms of psyche with the rhythms of soma. We practice Dream Tending methods that see and hear dream images as resonant with disease/healing patterns which have personal, collective, and world dimensions.

In addition, we consider how archetypal medicine and native systems of dream incubation integrate with my own dream theory. And, we practice the art of making “offering,” which is so helpful in accessing the healing impulse that releases the medicine inherent in the living image to do its work.

• Dream Images as Medicines
• The Rhythms of Psyche and Soma
• Dream Images as Homeopathic

• Correlating Images and Body Symptoms
• Dreamwork Applications with Addictive Syndromes and Chronic Illness
• Healing the Wounded Image
• Dream Tending Approach to Healing

• Dream Tending as an Adjunctive Treatment Modality—Possibilities and Limitations
• The “Shadow” of the Healing Fantasy
• The Art of Not Knowing

Praxis – Dream Incubation Ritual:
The wounded healer, the archetypal guide of many healing traditions, leads us to re-imagine the psyche/soma relationship. Our training group will join together in the creation of a “formal” healing ritual. This collective event will be an opportunity to experience the healing potential of Dream Tending in community.

“Dream Council”

The third course in this Dream Tending series is the life practice of “Dream Council.” This is a systematic way to bring the power of the Dream Tending teachings into the center of daily life, and it unites the learnings that have been growing over the months of the program.

Dream Council is a life practice—a forum to gain and maintain relationship with dream images. It forms a container for ongoing Dream Tending as a bridge between dream world and daily life, a path between worlds. As participants become more familiar with basic Dream Council methods, we will work with more advanced variations such as working with shadow figures and images from waking dreams.

• Dream Council as a Life Practice
• Dream Council offers Life Guidance
• Cultivating the Psyche and Animating the Soul

• Dream Council Practice Step-by-Step
• Deepening Relationship with Dream Figures
• Tending the Soul-Body in Dream Council

• Images from the Waking Dream
• Working with Shadow Figures
• Reconnecting to the Core Images of Our Lives

Praxis – Dream Council in Practice: Participants will work with their own dreams to identify figures and landscapes that will be actualized in a Dream Council experience during the closing session of the course.


January 8-10, 2010
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

February 5-7, 2010
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

March 12-14, 2010
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

April 9-11, 2010
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

May 7-9, 2010
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

June 18-20, 2010
Friday, Saturday, Sunday


Dinner: 5:00 to 6:00 pm
Opening Session: 6:00 to 9:00 pm

Breakfast: 8:00 to 9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am to 12:00 noon
Lunch: 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:00 to 6:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 am
Closing Session: 8:30 am. to 12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 to 1:30 pm

This training program is for clinicians and lay persons who have experience in dreamwork, particularly those who have participated in Dr. Aizenstat’s introductory and intermediate Dream Tending workshops. As specific clinical applications will be discussed and explored, all participants must have some degree of psychological mindfulness. Consent of the instructor is required for admission to the course. Please provide the information requested on the application form.

Application: You may apply for the Dream Tending 2010 training program by email to Please send a two-page letter describing your dreamwork education (dates, titles, and teachers of previous dreamwork seminars attended), professional and avocational background, and your interest in this training course. We ask that you include the following information:

City / State / Zip / Postal Code & Country
Phones (home, business, cell, and fax)

If you would prefer to apply by postal mail or fax, please direct your application materials to:

Dorinda Carr, Dream Tending Administrator
Pacifica Graduate Institute
249 Lambert Road
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Phone: 805-969-3626 ext. 134
Fax: 805-565-7917

Following review and evaluation of applications, enrollment invitations will be mailed to those who are admitted to the course.

Enrollment:  Your invitation to join the 2010 Dream Tending training group will include an enrollment agreement.  Please return the signed enrollment agreement within the time frame indicated along with your deposit of half the total fees to hold your place.  The balance in full is due by December 8, 2009.  To obtain a refund on your registration fee, send a written cancellation request postmarked no later than December 7, 2009.  Tuition less a $100 processing fee will be refunded.  Cancellations made from this date through the start of the program will receive a refund less $200.  In the event of cancellation after instruction begins, a pro-rata refund on the tuition will be based on the portion of the instruction already completed.  Additionally, for Residents, a refund on room and meals will be given less a $25 fee for each of the remaining room nights.  For Commuters, a refund on meals will be given less a $25 fee for each of the remaining sessions.  No refunds will be issued after the first two sessions.  A $100 administrative fee is non-refundable.

Tuition: The tuition for Dream Tending includes instruction and selected reading material.
$2400 - General Tuition
$2200 - Special Tuition: Full Time Student, Pacifica Alumni, or Senior (65+)
$1950 - Active Pacifica Student Tuition
Commuter Fee: $625 -- or -- Residential Fee:  $1715
Fees include Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch; and break service.  Residential Fee also includes two nights (single room) accommodation plus 10% occupancy tax; additional nights available for $82.50 per night plus tax.
A limited number of partial tuition scholarships are available to those who find it prohibitive to pay the full tuition for the program.  To apply, send a letter of request with your application for enrollment.  Please be specific regarding your financial circumstances.  If accepted, you will be contacted regarding specific details of available scholarship assistance.

Meals are provided to encourage ongoing dialogue and community exchange throughout the Dream Tending 2010 training series. Both Residential and Commuter Fees include Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch; and break service. No other meals will be available.

The Residential fee includes meals, fees, and tax for a single room in the Residence Building for Friday and Saturday evenings. Additional nights are available for $82.50 per night plus 10% occupancy tax. Accommodations are simple, dormitory-style rooms with shared bath an shower. Single (one twin or double bed), double (two twin beds), and couple (one double bed) rooms are available. Please reserve accommodations at the Ladera Campus when you send in your signed enrollment agreement and deposit payment.

Major airlines provide service into the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) located 90 miles south of Santa Barbara and into the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), approximately 18 miles from the Campus. Information on ground transportation will be included with your confirmation letter.

84 hours of continuing education credit are available for RNs through the California Board of Registered Nurses (provider #CEP 7177), for MFTs and LCSWs (provider #PCE 2278) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and for National Certified Counselors (provider #5436), through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Pacifica adheres to NBCC continuing education guidelines.

^ back to top