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Unit 105

Unit 105

Core Process Oriented Skills 2: Working With Body Symptoms And Dreams

Unit Description

Learn and practice skills for working safely with unfolding sensory and grounded information present in body symptoms.

This 3-credit point unit introduces students to grounded, skills-based Process Oriented approaches for working somatically and with the unconscious. Body symptoms and dreams are viewed as symbolic doors to uncover unconscious meaning in holistic counselling and psychotherapy. Students will learn and practice skills for working safely with unfolding sensory and grounded information present in body symptoms in this unit. These are essential skills for working with trauma and psychosomatic presentations.

Students will also be introduced to Arnold Mindell’s concept of the dreambody and its evolution and will develop skills to unfold the message within dreams and body experiences with clients. Students will learn to differentiate between primary and secondary information in body work and dreams to enhance client awareness. Students will also deepen self-knowledge through experiential exercises embedded in timetabled and untimetabled study.




Core Unit


Year 1, Semester 2




Katrina Dickson


30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during semester

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Competently apply somatic body symptom work in counselling practice and recognise contraindications for use

  2. Unpack information about clients’ body symptoms and the pain maker and discover each symptom’s unique message

  3. Differentiate between primary and secondary signals in body symptom and dreamwork

  4. Critically analyse the roots of a process-oriented approach to dream work and use symbolic thinking to unfold dreams

  5. Articulate and apply the concepts of the three levels of awareness, consensus reality, dreamland and essence, in practice sessions

  6. Recognise and utilise appropriate dream doors to enter the dreaming process for both body symptom work and working with dreams

  7. Assist clients to ground new information gained from body symptom work and dreamwork in their daily lives

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 7.34 hours per week over the semester, 117.5 hours in total.

  • 12 hours on-campus workshop intensive

  • 1.5 hour Zoom classes

  • 8 hours study buddy work

  • 96 personal study hours

Delivery Mode

On-campus teaching comprises 12 hours in total - 9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Online delivery

1.5 hour Zoom discussion

Workshop intensive on-campus

Study Buddy activities

Eight hours over the semester

Graduate Attributes

Critical thinking
Our graduates will have critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and analyse information and make informed professional judgements
Lifelong learning
Our graduates will have the skills necessary to successfully manage their careers and continue their personal and professional development in rapidly changing environments across their career spans
Our graduates will have well-developed written and oral communication skills, including listening deeply and receiving, interpreting and transmitting complex information, on many levels of awareness with colleagues, clients and the community
Holistic awareness
Our graduates will have an in-depth understanding of how the physical body, the psyche and mind/ spirit/self are in constant interaction and relationship with each other and with the environment
Our graduates will have a highly developed understanding of their work roles and responsibilities and uphold a high level of professional conduct in their work
Ethical practice and integrity
Our graduates will demonstrate high ethical standards in their work and follow professional Codes of Ethics to do good (beneficence) and avoid harm (maleficence)
Our graduates will have advanced skills in collaborating respectfully with colleagues, teams and clients to enhance productive outcomes and manage conflict skilfully
Available In Courses

Available In Courses

This unit is available in the following courses:

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