Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Author Spotlight on Nancy Wagaman, The Curious Dreamer's Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation

Dream Interpretation has always interested me perhaps because so often people tell me about their dreams and I feel I dream very little compared to them. Well, recently I had the opportunity to interview  Nancy Wagaman regarding Dream Interpretation. 

If you are not familiar with Nancy Wagaman. she is a human technologies innovator specializing in personal growth and transformation. Her practical techniques enable people to transform self-limitations and improve their lives. Rooted in science and intuition, Nancy’s transformative techniques are practical and easy to use. Nancy began developing human technologies during her early career at Bell Laboratories, and she has also consulted and conducted research for corporate, university, and private clients. Her work has been featured in magazines, radio, and television. Nancy holds advanced degrees in applied psychology and communications, and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and biology. She is the author of The Curious Dreamer’s Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation and The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary (TheCuriousDreamer.com) and has written extensively on applied psychology, intuition, and other personal growth topics. 


Like a personal dream coach, The Curious Dreamer's Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation walks you step-by-step through interpreting your dream, finding the value in it, and using it to make positive changes in your life. Choose from 40 powerful techniques to customize a robust interpretation experience. From the creator of The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary, this guide takes the mystery out of dream interpretation. 

The dream dictionary unlocks the power of dream symbols with tips, tools, and 1500 symbols defined for personal growth by the author of The Curious Dreamer’s Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation. The interpretation of dreams opens the door to a new world of empowering self-knowledge in your dreams each night. This book puts that power of dream symbol meaning directly into your hands. 

Now onto the interview.

Nancy, can you tell readers a little about your schooling and how long you have practiced dream interpretation?

As an undergrad, I started out as a biology major until I took a psychology elective, and I felt a great connection with that as well. I’ve always been fascinated with the relationship between the physical and nonphysical aspects of our existence. So my undergraduate degrees were in biology and psychology, and I went on to receive masters degrees in applied psychology and communications. During my early career at Bell Labs, I began developing new applied psychology techniques, while also studying intuition developing my own using both scientific and experiential approaches. When I realized the value in applying these techniques in subjective areas of consciousness, I began offering services through my own company, Applied Conscious Technologies, LLC. One of those services is dream interpretation, which I’ve offered for more than 15 years, although my dream study extends back many more years. The dream interpretation services have been quite popular, and clients have been asking me for years to write a dream book, which is what led to The Curious Dreamer’s Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation and my latest book, The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary.

You worked for Bell Laboratories. What can you tell us about the scientific research of dreams during REM?

Bell Labs was where I developed my passion for applying a scientific approach in areas that are not typically scientific, and that’s what eventually led my current focus on techniques to elevate one’s consciousness and improve one’s inner environment (in other words, to improve yourself and your life). As for dreams, I focus on the applied psychology of dreams - helping dreamers benefit from the content of their dreams - more than on the neuroscience or physical mechanism of dreaming. Although I do find some of the dream research fascinating, such as the Japanese study in which researchers were able to correlate certain brain patterns during dreams to waking responses to visual stimuli. So scientists may be in the early stages of being able to identify what a person was dreaming simply from brain patterns during the dream. However, while science continues to work toward a better understanding of dreams, dreamers already have full access to the beneficial content of their dreams - if they can translate dream meaning.

Can you provide some insight into the techniques you use for interpretation?

I offer lots of options because a certain technique may not work for all dreamers, or even for all dreams. For instance, if a dream contained a significant symbol that stood out, you might get better results from a symbol analysis technique, whereas if the dream involved heavy emotion you might opt for an emotion-based analysis. To allow dreamers to customize their interpretation process, my first book (The Curious Dreamer’s Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation) includes 25 dream analysis techniques to explore the meaning of a dream, including “Generalization Analysis,” “Emotion Analysis,” “Character Analysis,” ”Dialogue with Your Dream Symbol,” “Parallels Between Symbols and Real Life,” and “Caveman Explanation.” (In my professional dream interpretation services, I rely mostly on the first six dream analysis techniques in the book.) Readers can then follow up on what they learned from their dream by choosing from 15 dream action techniques for applying dream information to improve themselves and their lives, including “Forgiveness,” “Reframing,” “Transforming Beliefs,” “Leaning into Your Strengths,” and “Creating More of What You Want.” There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to work with a dream, as long as you gain some kind of value from the experience.

My latest book, The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary, provides a hands-on approach that includes tips, techniques, and 1500 symbols defined for personal growth. Its first two chapters show step-by-step techniques to explore dream symbol meaning, while the remainder of the book prompts dreamers to explore both traditional and personal meanings of dream symbols.

What advice can you offer someone who has psychological distress from their dreams?

When waking up from a nightmare, you can use certain techniques to release the dream and its residues from their consciousness and to recover mentally and emotionally. I suggest taking active steps to regain personal power over your own consciousness and recreate a peaceful inner environment. After all, each one of us is in charge of our own inner world and what’s allowed there.

I’ve included some of my favorite methods for recovering from nightmares in The Curious Dreamer’s Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation (in “Chapter 3-25: Dealing with Nightmares”), such as step-by-step techniques to “Detach From the Dream,” “Rewrite the Dream in Your Mind,” and “Do a Reality Check.”

I also suggest that dreamers consider a possible physical trigger of the nightmare, since physical factors are often involved. These include certain foods or eating too close to bedtime, environmental toxins, medications, and illnesses (among others). Mental and emotional factors such as stress or going to bed angry can also contribute to unpleasant dreams. You can read more about these factors in the “Toxic Dreams” sections included in Chapter 1-2 of the dream guide book and Chapter 3-2 of the dream dictionary.

If the distress from a dream is extreme or harmful in any way, or if it feels like too much to handle alone, I suggest seeking assistance from a trusted therapist or other mental health professional to assist in working through any issues brought up by the dream. 

How does one go about dream recall?

Many people find that the more they focus on dreams and the idea of remembering their dreams, the more often they remember their dreams and the more of their dream content they recall. So, anything you can to focus on your dreams while you’re awake (such as keeping a dream journal at your bedside or setting a bedtime intention to remember helpful dreams) can result in better dream recall.

It’s also important to capture dream memories while you’re still in that twilight state between sleep and fully awake, which is why I suggest reviewing your dream from beginning to end before opening your eyes in the morning (followed immediately by writing a dream description to solidify the details). In my dream guide book, there’s a whole chapter on dream recall with lots of tips that can even help people who never remember their dreams. In it, I discuss how even a tiny thread of dream memory (such as an image or feeling) can lead to retrieving the entire dream from your subconscious mind.

What do you do when you are not writing?

My honest answer would be “thinking about what to write next.” But there are some other things you’ll also find me doing, including:
I sing high notes. I’m a “recovering” classically-trained soprano who sings mostly for fun these days.

I meditate. Amazing and magical things happen to the human consciousness during meditation. It changes the tone of the whole day, deepens my connection with life, and improves my sleep and dreams.
I take care of loved ones. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say I’m practicing “giving with an open heart.” It can be like therapy when done from a place of true goodwill.

What are you currently reading?

I have a goal of reading some of the classics I somehow missed during my early years. Right now that’s A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. But my to-read stack has taken over my bookshelves (and Kindle): lots of science, mysteries, adventure, historical fiction, and biographies.

Is there anything you’d like to tell readers?

The two books in The Curious Dreamer’s series can be read standalone or together. If you’re interested in learning in-depth how to interpret your own dreams, start with The Curious Dreamer’s Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation (“You will become your own dream expert,” according to one reviewer.) If you want to explore particular dream symbols when you wake up from a dream, you’ll want to a bedside copy of The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary (“Great to have on the book shelf so you can dip in and out of it when you have a vivid dream,” one reviewer explains).

Read more about the books at NancyWagamanBooks.com. The paperbacks are available from Amazon and the ebooks from most online booksellers:

The Curious Dreamer’s Practical Guide to Dream Interpretation

The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary

To explore dreams further, here are some more possibilities:

Get my free mini-book, 6 Myths About Dreams, as a gift when you sign up for my mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/c7VmuP

Order a custom dream interpretation: MyDreamVisions.com/order

Explore my dream websites: TheCuriousDreamer.com and MyDreamVisions.com

Connect with me here:

          Twitter: @CuriousDreamers
          Facebook: @TheCuriousDreamer, @TheCuriousDreamerBooks
          Pinterest: @DreamMeanings
          Instagram: @TheCuriousDreamerOfficial

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