Dream Tending and Play

The Vital Dimension


  • Douglas Thomas




dreams, play, Jungian psychology, archetypal psychology, Aizenstat, Hillman, Corbin, Winnicott, Huizinga


Dream Tending is a system for working with dreams that draws from elements of Jungian psychology and archetypal psychology, focusing on encountering dream images as living entities. The element of play is a vital but unarticulated aspect of Dream Tending, which merits exploration. The concept of play has been a significant topic for psychologists such as D. W. Winnicott, as well as contributors to the fields of social history and philosophy such as J. Huizinga and H. G. Gadamer. This article reviews the theoretical basis of Dream Tending emerging from the ideas of Jung, Hillman, and H. Corbin, and then applies the idea of play as developed by Winnicott, Huizinga, and Gadamer to the Dream Tending skills set. It concludes with a discussion of the clinical implications of focusing on play as a mediator of what Corbin referred to as imaginal space.