Margaret Thorne literally followed her dreams to her current line of work.
The former nanny was going through a mid-life career change and training to be a counsellor when her dreams started to intensify.
‘‘I had lots of them and there were lots of very interesting themes and symbols, so I began reading lots of books about dreams,’’ she says.
‘‘I explored the subject and became more and more intrigued.’’
Her burgeoning interest led her to complete an Applied Dreamwork Certificate in 2004 under the guidance of the ‘‘Auckland authority on dreams’’, Margaret Bowater.
Ms Thorne says the dream work she does often complements her counselling work, but she keeps the two practices separate.
The grandmother-of-three does her dream work from a community room in Titirangi, where clients can discuss a dream that has stirred their interest.
‘‘We talk about the dream and how they would like to work with it, which can be in a serious way like interpreting something.
‘‘But I believe people are the best judge of their own dreams and I’m more like a guide to help them discover what the dream might be saying to them.’’
Ms Thorne says analysing a dream can take quite a long time, depending on how deep the client wants to go with it.
She says there are no hard and fast rules to interpreting dreams, as symbols mean different things to different people.
‘‘There can be a trigger like a cup of tea, or a flower, or meeting someone and your inner world creates a story about that, completely applicable to your own situation and the issues you have in your life,’’ she says.
‘‘There’s no book you can look at and say what means what. It’s all individual to the person. A cup might mean something to me, but it might mean something completely different to you.’’
While discussing the dream, and the various symbols and metaphors contained within, Ms Thorne will lead the person into a process where they can explore the dream’s relevance to their lives.
‘‘They may want to find a way to honour it or respect it creatively and I might suggest some ways they can do that,’’ she explains.
Because dreams tend to dissipate quickly, Ms Thorne recommends people keep a dream diary if they are interested in learning more about them.
She says it helps to lie still after waking and let the dreams come back, then write them down or draw them.
‘‘I feel that once dreams are given the attention, then they listen and they come.
‘‘It’s what happened to me. Once I started a dream diary 10 years ago they just came one after the other.’’