Anger is a normal part of grief but expressing it can be hard because we tend not to like to feel angry. Anger can be taboo especially for women, and especially as part of grief. We may recognise it, but often we don’t know what to do with it. Sometimes we can get stuck in grief as a result.
The dream world gives us beautiful creative access to what is struggling to become conscious. That is, anger can be pushed into the unconscious if we’re not okay with it at a base level. The dreams’ rich imaginal world can be used as part of a therapeutic process.
Here is a story about attending to anger creatively through dreamwork. This story is taken from my practice, with a client struggling with grief after a friend completed suicide. Names have been changed.
I’ve seen Joanna twice since then (over 3 weeks) and she has reported no nightmares. She had a dream instead of going canoeing with her boyfriend and having a good time. She also reported feeling more relaxed with her partner – she felt less reactive and was worrying less about him.
With thanks to several approaches I draw on in this work: the pendulation practice of Somatic Experiencing (from ground/calm, into a piece of pain, and back to ground), the embodied muscle work of Merete von Brantbjerg, perhaps an appreciation of jungian dream work I picked up from my mother, a Jungian Analyst and likely some Gestault work too.