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Displacement and belonging: A social dreaming matrix

Berman, Hayley; Warner, Cathy


Hayley Berman


Displacement and belonging: a social dreaming matrix
Social dreaming is a ‘practice of sharing and working with dreams in a social space’ (Lawrence 2005).
It provides opportunities for uncovering hidden emotions and thoughts among the participants, and
can constitute action research (Balogh 2015). A psychosocial dreaming matrix is inherently creative
and lends itself to exploration incorporating music as part of the process (Manley 2020). Participants
are encouraged to share dreams, but it is not the individual dream that is the focus, rather the
collective. Dreams are seen as objects in their own right.
This social dreaming matrix will explore notions of belonging, and how identities can be affected by
intergenerational displacement and trauma. It may be of particular interest to those working with
displaced people (Bermudez 2018, Karolia 2020).
As an exposition, three music therapists share lived experience of their own displacement and
questions of identity. Then participants, including hosts, find a place in the seating arrangement.
Two hosts, an art therapist and music therapist, explain the social dreaming process, set boundaries
and ask for the first dream.
A ‘snowflake’ chair arrangement enables all participants to avoid gaze and concentrate on their
dreams. Participants describe dreams as and when they are recalled. A host documents the dream
Participants then realign align chairs and move together to explore links. The aim is not to interpret
dreams or the analyse the dreamer, rather to make connections and discover new thoughts in an
open-ended way.
The process will move into a vocal improvisation and conclude with verbal reflection.
Key words: displacement; belonging; social dreaming; improvisation; intergenerational trauma

Presentation Conference Type Other
Conference Name 12th European Conference Music Therapy Conference
Start Date Jun 8, 2022
End Date Apr 12, 2022
Deposit Date Mar 5, 2023
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