KC 5: The Role of Dreams in Islamically Integrated Mental Health Practice
This is the fifth session in the 6-session Khalil Center Educational Series.
While modern psychology considers dreams to be the royal road inwards into one’s preoccupations, intrapsychic conflicts, and the unconscious, Islamic scholars have additionally viewed dreams to be a royal road outward into the realm of spiritual inspiration and prophecy. Despite a significant amount of attention afforded to dreams in earlier psychological literature, dreams have become an endangered species in the mainstream practice of psychiatry and clinical psychology.
In an attempt to address this gap in clinical practice, the presenter will start by providing an overview of the different theories on the role of dreams on human psychology, including psychodynamic, neurobiological, evolutionary theories among others. Presenters will then provide a foundational account of the study of dreams in Islamic literature and intellectual heritage. They will also shed light on the profound tradition of dream interpretation (‘ ilm al-ta’bir) established by Muslim scholars. Following this theoretical foundation, the presenter will discuss clinical applications of dreamwork within an Islamically integrated model of psychotherapy. The clinical tools provided for clinicians in this presentation include a toolkit for dream interpretation, utilization of “healing dreams” in practice, navigating through nightmares, understanding the connection between dreams and supplications, providing psychoeducation about dreams, and understanding the connection between dreams, psychopathology, and psychopharmacology.