Dear Dream Tending and Deep Imagination Community,

My alarm blared in my ears as I hit snooze on my cellphone. My psyche was deep inside a nightmare. I felt conflicted: a part of me wanted to wake up to leave this terrible dream reality, another part of me felt haunted and needed to find a different conclusion to the dream.

In the nightmare, I was swimming through a swamp trying to save a baby. There are so many ways to read into this. As I showered to get ready for work, I wondered what is new in my life that I am saving? What feels fragile right now? What do I experience swampy to move through?

My rational mind could reach rational conclusions. My house had recently flooded during a storm, so I was managing a literal swamp. Did the baby have to do with an upcoming move into a different house? The Dream Tending Certificate I program is currently on the Pacifica Lambert campus working with nightmares and creating masks to animate the nightmare images. Perhaps my psyche was picking up on the nightmare curriculum in the dreamtime?

What was curious about this dream was the discrepancy between the content and the somatic-emotional tone. Nothing was “scary” per se, yet I felt haunted to the bone. A part of what makes the Dream Tending approach to working with nightmares so special is it honors deep imagination and the different ways one can experience and work with dream images.

Through the steps of Association, Amplification, and Animation we can explore the rational and logical. Then, in the steps of Animation and hosting the living image, can extend the inquiry into the dynamism of the emotional and physical dreaming experience. This wholistic way of tending to dreams leaves a different tone of resolution because it includes rational, emotional, and the physical body – all of which dreams live in.

If the idea of wholistic Dream Tending interests you, there is a special opportunity coming up I want to invite you to. Space is limited and we have 3 spots left in our five-day February Montana Dream Tending retreat. In this retreat, we go deep and allow the dreams to unfold in a multidimensional way. If you are curious to learn more, please contact If you have been you know, the B-Bar Ranch in Montana bordering Yellowstone National Park is a place where magic happens and psyche regenerates.

I hope to see you there!

Alia Aizenstat
Executive Director, Dream Tending
Licensed Psychotherapist

Inside The Curious Mind

A quote that resonated with me this week…
“The essential thing is to differentiate oneself from these unconscious contents by personifying them, and at the same time to bring them into relationship with consciousness. That is the technique for stripping them of their power.”
― C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned professor of depth psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.