Dreaming the Social: From 9/11 to Covid

Author(s) : John Clare, Author(s) : Ali Zarbafi

Dreaming the Social: From 9/11 to Covid

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Also by Ali Zarbafi

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Dreaming the Social uses social dreaming as a tool to explore aspects of contemporary life and examine how we can reverse social fragmentation and large-scale trauma. Since the attack on New York on 9/11, the world has been balanced on the edge of potential disaster, exacerbated in recent years by global warming, the Covid pandemic and war in Ukraine. Since the first edition in 2009 these national and global events have come to dominate our lives in unforeseen ways. With this in mind, this new edition explores the potential of social dreaming to help access things we know but are unable to think, except through the complex activity of dreaming. Based on several research studies, group sessions and mass dreaming experiments, the book explores peoples' experiences of dreaming during times of change, transition and upheaval and discusses the insights that these dreams offer. Dreaming the Social will be of great interest to all professionals interested in dreams and the power of social dreaming, including psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and clinical psychologists.

Reviews and Endorsements

This is the book I have been waiting to read. I have yearned for a book that would examine contemporary culture through the imaginative critique of psychoanalysis. I did not want a theory-poem, or authorial brilliance. I yearned for the sort of book that I knew would teach me something and which I could recommend to others. The authors’ passion embraces the subject matter in ways that is more than inspiring and hopeful. It is such a relief to read!
Christopher Bollas, author of Three Characters, The Infinite Question and Evocative Object World

We have long thought of dreams as a repository of the most private and inaccessible regions of unconscious experience. In this important and original book, the motifs and mechanisms of the dreaming unconscious - helplessness, sexual desire, denial, the pleasures and perils of knowing - are mined instead for their rich and layered social meanings. With fascinating new chapters on Brexit, Covid and Ukraine, Clare and Zarbafi show us dreams as carriers of urgent messages from and to our precarious world.
Josh Cohen, Psychoanalyst, author and Professor of English at Goldsmiths College, University of London

Table of Contents

Foreword by W. Gordon Lawrence

1. Social Dreaming and the Self
John Clare

2. Night Train of Social Dreams
Ali Zarbafi

3. Dreaming after 9/11
John Clare

4. Sweet Honey in the Rock
John Clare

5. The End of the Dance: dreams at a literary festival
John Clare

Addendum by Jane Storr

6. A Mass Dreaming Experiment
John Clare and Ali Zarbafi

7. Dreaming in the Inner City
John Clare and Ali Zarbafi

8. Social Dreaming: a no goal method?
Ali Zarbafi

9. Where are we going? The long group in Hay-on-Wye 2009-2023
John Clare

10. COVID: the invisible invasion
John Clare

11. War in Europe
John Clare

12. Conclusion
John Clare and Ali Zarbafi


About the Author(s)

John Clare and Ali Zarbafi are psychotherapists working in Wales and London. They have worked together since 1998 in various dreaming matrixes in England, France and Wales, and are currently working with social dreams in the community of Hay-on-Wye.

More titles by John Clare

Dr Ali Zarbafi is an Anglo-Iranian Jungian analyst and supervisor and member of the Society of Analytical Psychology with thirty years’ clinical experience. He is a founder member of the Multi-lingual Psychotherapy Centre. Ali works in the NHS and private practice. He has written and given talks on trauma, the refugee experience, and social dreaming, and has an academic background in international relations and Middle Eastern studies. He is co-author (with John Clare) of Social Dreaming in the 21st Century: The World We Are Losing.

More titles by Ali Zarbafi

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