One can think of the world as composed of an infinite number of social systems, in each of which there is an unattended parallel social system, of free thoughts, musings in the mind, fantasies and dreaming, streams of consciousness, unencumbered by conscious logic. Every person who participates in these parallel systems has dreams. They may be forgotten or regarded as so much junk mail to be discarded. But we know that people dream. The dream is a particle version of the dreaming that goes on all the time, as a wave. Social Dreaming can be understood or seen as having, engaging in, the unattended part of the discourse of a social system, a bringing of it into conscious reflection.
Social Dreaming focuses on the thinking and knowledge (“sphinx, related to problems of knowledge and scientific method”, Bion)) embedded in the dream and not the dreamer , more group centered focus ( what dreams mean to the group?) rather than , more subjective focus of individual (Oedipal situation)psychotherapy ( what does dream mean for me?)
This is done by the deliberate and sustained method of free association and amplification through the Social Dreaming TM Matrix. Matrix was chosen from the first attempt at Social Dreaming because it was intuited by its founder, Dr. Gordon Lawrence, that this configuration best fitted the dreaming process.
From the inception of Social Dreaming the systemic nature of dreaming was recognized and affirmed. Not only do dreamers dream from their ecological niche, but also they dream themes that are systemically related. Social dreaming is also a uniquely experiential discipline, which frees participants from their personal defenses that constrain free-thinking and interaction in ordinary social situations.
Dreams have always served as wonderful texts for all kinds of reasons. Freud viewed the dream as a disguised representation of repressed ideas that had been evoked by the events of the dreamer’s day, and this view allowed him to break up the image of the dream through a process of free association that revealed a quite extraordinary simultaneity of many thoughts moving along an infinite psychic chain. Gordon Lawrence uses the dream as a pretext for a group’s analysis of social issues, thereby allowing any group to share the dream as a sample of social life, of a society dreaming its own issues. Lawrence’s perspective is a wonderful invention and sure to last.’ Dr. Christopher Bollas, Psychoanalyst and author.