One of my favorite pieces we’ve ever published is “Dreams as Gifts of the Spirit,” an analysis of dream-related LDS history, doctrine, and practice. I have occasionally experienced powerful dreams myself, and I have always been grateful for the wisdom with which Barbara Bishop, the author (and also my aunt), helps me understand my dreams.
Barbara Bishop has an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Utah, a PhD in English from UCLA, and a master’s in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She taught English, using a curriculum that combined dreams and literature, for seven years at Marymount College in Palos Verdes, California. In addition to her work as a therapist, she is also writing a book about addiction dreams. She is married to Brent Pace and has three beautiful boys, about whom she dreams regularly.
As research for her book on addiction dreams, Barbara is seeking dreams from addicts and recovered addicts. If you have a family member who is an addict, she is interested in your dreams as well. Please email me –emilymilner at byu dot net–if you have an addiction-related dream you would like to share with her.
When did you first begin to pay attention to your dreams and what they might mean?
I first became interested in dreams while I was writing my dissertation for my PhD in English. I had a nagging thought, which I tried to ignore, that writing literary criticism wasn’t quite my bliss. I loved literature and I loved teaching literature, but I didn’t enjoy the lit crit industry. It seemed like literary critics wrote to other literary critics, and argued with and against their particular readings, and it seemed rather pointless. I had been writing down my dreams, trying to figure out why I was having these second thoughts now, when I was nearly finished with my dissertation. My sister invited me to attend a weekend workshop on dreams, and I immediately saw that studying dreams and writing about dreams had more relevance to the general population than writing literary criticism. Dream interpretation uses some of the same skills as literary interpretation, and dreams are as intriguing as literature. But everyone dreams, and each person’s dreams are tailor-made metaphorical stories about the dreamer’s life. I loved how the dreams could show my life in a symbolic way.