About the event
Any staff or student with interest in exploring the themes of Black Lives Matter and our lives at the time of the pandemic are welcome. Please email Dr Jale Cilasun if you wish to register. The groups are online and will be convened by Jale Cilasun and Patrick Mandikate.
‘Breathing Space’ groups were introduced by St George’s as a response to requests for support by students and staff in the wake of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and Covid19 in July 2020. The group is a space to pause and share with others, a mixture of students and staff. Since February we have been using the first 45 minutes as a ‘Social Dreaming Matrix’, and the rest of our time reflecting freely on our experiences. The task is not to interpret the dreams or focus on the dreamer but to let the dreams speak to one another and listen to what dreams tells us about the systems we live in.
The Social Dreaming Matrix is not therapeutic in the sense of psychotherapy but has potential for community healing: ‘I am because we are and because we are, I am’. Social Dreaming was discovered by Gordon Lawrence in the 1980s. Gordon Lawrence worked at the Tavistock in the Group Relations traditions.
In the Social Dreaming Matrix, participants are encouraged to share their dreams from the previous night or past dreams. The process of bringing dreams into the dream matrix is akin to the surfacing of unprocessed thought (the unthought known Bollas, 1987) that can be made sense of by the group in the context of the environment in which the group is situated. Once a dream is shared, it becomes the property of the group and others are encouraged to bring other dreams and their associations of the dreams into the matrix. The group’s associations may relate to events in society (the socio-political environment and its present configurations) such as Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter.
The Social Dreaming Matrix can therefore make what is implicit in the dream explicit through free association to the dream. The Social Dreaming Matrix has potential to amplify the dreams offered with links to art, literature and socio-cultural norms. New meanings attributed to the dreams (not the dreamer) and sense making, enables connections between the dreams (an unconscious and pre-conscious phenomenon) and the lived experience of group members in their social contexts.