Dream Tending® in Depth

A Six-Month Intensive with Dr. Stephen Aizenstat


Dream Tending Depth

2012 Session Dates
January 20-22
February 17-19
March 30-April 1
May 4-6
June 1-3
July 6-8

Session Times
6:00-9:00 PM
9:00 AM-6:00 PM
8:30 AM-12:30 PM

84 hours of continuing education credit are available for MFTs, LCSWs, RNs, and Counselors

$2,400 General Admission

$2,200 Special Admission
(Full-Time Students, Pacifica Alumni, and Seniors)

$1,950 Active Pacifica Students

Other Fees
Residential Fee $1,700
Commuter Fee $625
Fees include Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch; and break service. Residential Fee includes two night’s accommodation plus 10% occupancy tax; additional nights available for $82.50 per night plus tax.

Please see “Application and Registration” in the General Information Section

For more information email Heidi Townshend or call 805.969.3626, ext. 374

Dream Tending in Depth is a limited-enrollment, intensive program, scheduled over six, three-day sessions. The sessions will take place at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus in Santa Barbara, California. Located on 35 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacifica Ocean, this residential retreat center provides a unique and peaceful environment for study and contemplation.

In 2012, Dr. Stephen Aizenstat will offer this six-session intensive in the craft of Dream Tending. For more than 35 years, he has been working with dreams—researching and cultivating a unique approach to dreamwork that he has come to call Dream Tending. Dream Tending arises out of certain philosophical assumptions: that psyche is nature revealing herself in images, that the nature of psyche is inherently multidimensional, and that the images of dreams give form (and body) to the various expressions of psychological life. Dream Tending is based on the premise that images are alive. They are continuously in process and engaged in an imaginal field of relationships, of which we are a part. In the practice of Dream Tending, participants attend mindfully to the particularity of each image—discovering its nature, wondering about its activities, and listening to its experiences.

This intensive is designed to be sympathetic with the multiple dimensions of psychic life and the dream. Part of the course explores dream theory and dream methodology. Some of the work will be experiential dream animation projects and Dream Tending clinical practice. Much of the learning, however, takes place in a third realm: a dimension of dream life that is sensitive to aesthetic perceiving, poetic imagining, shamanic intuiting, and the art of not-knowing.

Dream Tending in Depth comprises the three courses described below.

COURSE ONE: The Living Image

The “heartbeat” of Dream Tending is the concept of the “Living Image.” Participants explore ideas from archetypal dream psychology as well as phenomenological dream methodology. Considerable time is spent practicing phenomenological animation, an approach to tending the living dream image in the immediacy of its unfolding.

Here participants recognize that dream images are alive and they experience them as embodied beings. They discover that in the landscape of the dream, they are guests for a time in the living, breathing ecology of psychic life. Participants come to acknowledge that psychic life is, by nature, alive and poetic—its language metaphorical, its rhythm musical.


  • The Dreaming Psyche is Multi-Dimensional
  • Dream Images are Alive

  • Dream Images Have Body, Presence, and Pulse

  • Phenomenological Dream Animation
  • Active Imagination and the Living Image

  •  Interacting with the Embodied Image

  • The Problem of Merging in Dreamwork

  • Transference/Countertransference Dynamics

  • The Experience of Eros in Working with Dream Imagery

  • Opposition and Resistance in Dreamwork Animation

Praxis – Dream Animation

An experiential project, the animation of dream images through artistic expression, connects participants with the pulse of the living image. Students will bring special attention to a particular dream image (or images) to develop a dream animation art project suitable to their experience and preferences.

COURSE TWO: Medicines of the Soul

Dream Tending as a healing art is the focus of the second course. Participants honor images as subtle bodies, intimately related to the physical (and emotional) body of the dreamer. They correlate the rhythms of psyche with the rhythms of soma. They practice Dream Tending methods that see and hear dream images as resonant with disease/healing patterns which have personal, collective, and world dimensions.

In addition, participants consider how archetypal medicine and native systems of dream incubation integrate with Dr. Aizentat’s dream theory. And, they practice the art of making “offering,” which is helpful in accessing the healing impulse that releases the medicine inherent in the living image to do its work.


  • Dream Images as Medicines
  • The Rhythms of Psyche and Soma

  • Dream Images as Homeopathic

  • Correlating Images and Body Symptoms
  • Dreamwork Applications with Addictive Syndromes and Chronic Illness
  • Healing the Wounded Image
  • Dream Tending Approach to Healing

  • Dream Tending as an Adjunctive Treatment Modality—Possibilities and Limitations
  • The Function of the Healing Sanctuary
  • The Art of Not Knowing

Praxis – Dream Incubation Ritual

The wounded healer, the archetypal guide of many healing traditions, leads participants to re-imagine the psyche/soma relationship. The training group will join together in the creation of a “formal” healing ritual. This collective event will be an opportunity to experience the healing potential of Dream Tending in community.

COURSE THREE: Dream Council and the World’s Dream

The third course in this Dream Tending intensive is the life practice of “Dream Council”. This is a systematic way to bring the power of the Dream Tending teachings into the center of daily life, and it unites the learnings that have been growing over the months of the program.

Dream Council is a life practice—a forum to gain and maintain relationship with dream images. It forms a container for ongoing Dream Tending as a bridge between dream world and daily life, a path between worlds. As participants become more familiar with basic Dream Council methods, they will extend their work to the World’s Dream, the animae mundi, the soul in and of the world.


  • Dream Council as a Life Practice
  • Dream Council offers Life Guidance

  • Cultivating the Psyche and Animating the Soul

  • Dream Council Practice Step-by-Step
  • Deepening Relationship with Dream Figures

  • The Praxis of Archetypal Activism

  • Reconnecting to the Core Images of Our Lives

  • Working with Shadow Figures

  • Tending the Dream is Tending the World

Praxis – Dream Council in Practice

Participants will work with their own dreams to identify figures and landscapes that will be actualized in a Dream Council experience during the closing session of the course.

Dream Tending in Depth is for clinicians and lay persons who have experience in dreamwork, particularly those who have participated in Dr. Aizenstat’s introductory and intermediate Dream Tending workshops. As specific clinical applications will be discussed and explored, all participants must have some degree of psychological mindfulness. Consent of the instructor is required for admission to the course.

AizenstatStephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and the founding president of Pacific Graduate Institute. For more than 35 years he has explored the power of dreams through the study of depth psychology and the pursuit of his own research. He has collaborated with many masters in the field, including Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, Robert Johnson, and James Hillman, as well as native elders worldwide. Dr. Aizenstat has conducted hundreds of dreamwork seminars throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Aizenstat’s book, Dream Tending, describes applications of dreamwork in relation to health and healing, nightmares, the World's Dream, relationships, and the creative process. Dr. Aizenstat’s methodologies extend traditional dream work to the vision of an animated world where living images in dream are experienced as embodied and originating in the psyche of Nature as well as that of persons.

General Information

APPLICATIONS AND REGISTRATION: To apply for the Dream Tending in Depth intensive program we ask that you write a two-page letter describing your dreamwork education (dates, titles, and teachers of previous dreamwork seminars attended), professional and avocational background, and your interest in the Dream Tending in Depth intensive program. Please be sure to include your name, address, telephone numbers, and email address. Email the letter to, fax to 805.879.7393, or mail to Heidi Townshend, Dream Tending Administrator, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 249 Lambert Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013. For more information, contact Heidi Townshend at 805.969.3626, ext. 374.
Following review and evaluation of applications, enrollment invitations will be mailed to those who are admitted to the course. 

ENROLLMENT: Your invitation to join the Dream Tending in Depth intensive program will include an enrollment agreement.  Please return the signed enrollment agreement within the time frame indicated along with your deposit of 50% of the total fees to hold your place. The balance in full is due by December 2, 2011.

FEES: The tuition for Dream Tending in Depth includes instruction and selected reading material. Additionally, all participants choose either the Commuter or Residential package. The Commuter fee includes all meals and break service. The residential fee includes all meals plus two nights (single room) accommodation plus 10% occupancy tax. Additional nights available for $82.50 per night plus tax.  

LOCATION: The intensive will be held at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus at 801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. Located on 35 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this residential retreat center provides a unique and peaceful environment for these events. This campus has lodging, dining facilities, parking onsite.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Accommodations are simple, dormitory-style rooms with shared bath and shower. Single (one twin or double bed), double (two twin beds), and couple (one double bed) rooms are available. Please reserve accommodations at the Ladera Campus when you send in your signed enrollment agreement and deposit payment.

MEALS: Meals are provided to encourage ongoing dialogue and community exchange throughout the Dream Tending in Depth intensive. Both Residential and Commuter Fees include Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch; and break service. No other meals will be available. Pacifica’s caterers make every attempt to provide healthful meals for our guests. Please indicate on the registration form if you need a special vegan or vegetarian meal or if you have other medical dietary restrictions.

TRAVEL: Major airlines provide service into the Los Angeles International Airport located 90 miles south of Santa Barbara and into the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, approximately 18 miles from the Campus. Information on ground transportation to and from Santa Barbara will be included with your confirmation letter.

CANCELLATION:  To obtain a refund on your registration fee, send a written cancellation request postmarked no later than December 1, 2011. Tuition less a $100 processing fee will be refunded. Cancellations made from December 2, 2011 through the start of the program will receive a refund less $200. In the event of cancellation after instruction begins, a pro-rata refund on the tuition will be based on the portion of the instruction already completed.  Additionally, for Residents, a refund on room and meals will be given less a $25 fee for each of the remaining room nights. For Commuters, a refund on meals will be given less a $25 fee for each of the remaining sessions.  No refunds will be issued after the first two sessions. A $100 administrative fee is non-refundable.

SCHOLARSHIPS: A limited number of partial scholarships are available to those who find it prohibitive to pay the full cost of the seminar. To apply, send a letter of request with your application. Please be specific regarding your financial circumstances.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT: 84 hours of continuing education credit are available for RNs through the California Board of Registered Nurses (provider #CEP 7177), for MFTs and LCSWs (provider #PCE 2278) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and for National Certified Counselors (provider #5436), through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Pacifica adheres to NBCC continuing education guidelines.