by Kathleen Duffy
Published by Covey Publishing Westport 2014
Reviewed by Anne Colgan MIAHIP
Known in Ireland for her popular workshops in dream wisdom, Kathleen Duffy works as a psychotherapist in private practice. She has also worked with the Tivoli Institute in Dublin. According to the late John O’Donohue:
[Kathleen has a] unique charisma on the detective work of dreamscapes, above anyone else being able to smell out what the story really is…and to have the subtlety, technique and skill to elucidate the intention structure and wisdomscape of the dream.
(personal communication with Kathleen Duffy, 2006)
Kathleen has a particular interest in exploring the psyche through dreams as well as relationship issues and the transpersonal. She lives in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland.
“I close my eyes; draw back the curtain, to see for certain what I thought I knew” (Duffy, 2014: 202). Kathleen refers to the words of this song in her book and it epitomises for me what she is sharing with us and inviting us to attend. Her generosity in sharing in the book is palpable and has left me feeling comforted, challenged and spiritually nourished. Throughout the book, the curtain is pulled back for me. It is both simply put and deep.
We are invited each night to go to the theatre where we are producer and director, to go within ourselves for guidance. The book educates the reader in how to prepare for dreamwork, beginning with a commitment to be attentive to dreams. When we believe that our dreams give voice to our psyche doors will begin to open. Our dreams can bring us to the stuck place, the place we know we fear. In my recent experience since reading the book I had a dream which was very powerful and clear. Creative work which I have been avoiding has been shown to me. Reading the book has brought me to familiar places in my dreams and also unfamiliar ones. There has also been synchronicity. A few days following the piece in the book about the Céide Fields in Mayo I find myself watching a recorded TV programme about Connaught and, right in the middle of it, they take me to the Céide Fields. Kathleen’s creativity stirs the creativity of the reader in a way which is exciting and grounding. It opens the door to doing work which we may be avoiding, but yet is our soul work. She writes about Commitment to Priority. I found this most interesting because while I am great at prioritising I find I can get distracted when it comes to the action part, how we can get distracted by entertaining instead of attending to what is important to our Self.
The book is full of healing from the Higher Self and the power of our own creativity. I love the piece about dreams being the invitation from the creator to co-create, about coming from the unconscious to the conscious. The comfort from the book for me comes from the acceptance of the shadow, the exploration of the total self and the learning from it. The learning in the book for me was looking at ‘what I thought I knew’ from a different perspective, in a place where I could take on the fear which can keep me back.
Kathleen has shared her dreams and their meaning in a very generous and comprehensive way. I was very struck by the familiar in the book and the way in which she ties ancient beliefs with present-day occurrences. Her knowledge of and references to the Bible are educational and warming and her knowledge and familiarity with symbols takes you to a world of wonderment. It is like a Dream Bible.