by Sandra Hewitt-Parsons
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Story of the Witch Behind the Wallpaper is an art show which builds on dream analysis to explore latent themes that relate to childhood dreams and other personal experiences as an eight year old girl and a survivor of a traumatic stroke. Dream analysis has long been controversial in psychotherapy, extending back to the time of Jung and Freud. (Jung, 2001; Freud, 2010). However, we now know that dreams help consolidate our daily experiences. They give us a rare glimpse at the unconscious part of the psyche that cannot be obtained in any other way. Dream interpretation helps to reintegrate conscious and unconscious fragments of the mind, uniting them for greater self-awareness. Through the researcher’s journey through art therapy training as well as her own personal dream work, she has discovered that dreams contain fundamentally meaningful information which is related to her implicit as well as explicit experiences. In creating this show, the researcher demonstrates the importance of dreams in truly understanding oneself. In thoroughly examining and subsequently embodying her dreams, the researcher finally begins to process the trauma that she experienced decades ago. With the insights resulting from this processing, the researcher feels better equipped to help others therapeutically work through their own traumatic experiences.