For 24 years, Kathleen taught adults and students in Monterey public schools. She was trained as an Organization Development specialist and worked as a crisis control manager in California schools from 1976 to 1980. In 1980, Sullivan’s focus was drawn inward by one life-altering dream. The complete story of that experience can be read in the first chapter of her book, Recurring Dreams: A Journey to Wholeness (Freedom, California: Crossing Press, 1998). Overwhelmed by the demands of the unconscious, by chronic illness and emotional distress, Sullivan surrendered to the dream and has followed it to an entirely new career as a full-time dreamworker, counselor, talk show host (a weekly one hour show on public radio from 1990-2002 ) and author. Kathleen’s fascinating research on the recurring dreams of fourteen dreamers, Recurring Dream Symbols: Maps to Healing your Past was published by Paulist Press in 2004.
Kathleen’s strengths lie in her ability to draw on many varied theories of dreamwork. Her eclectic approach has been made possible by the work of many fine modern dreamworkers such as Jeremy Taylor, Gayle Delaney, Loma Flowers, Alan Siegel, Henry Reed, Robert Bosnak, John Sanford, Robert Johnson, Montague Ullman and Patricia Garfield. Her work is firmly rooted in foundations established by Carl Gustav Jung.
Kathleen was a founding member of the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD) in l984, and is a frequent presenter and workshop leader at their annual international conference of dream researchers, clinicians and students of the dream.
A Personal Message from Kathleen
In 1980, one very short dream (a “griefmare”) dramatically altered my life. Because of the enormous power of that dream, I began incorporating dream studies in the classes that I taught. The responses of adults and children alike convinced me that working with the dream was rewarding and thrilling to all involved. What began as an offering of dream groups to friends evolved into a full time career when I resigned from classroom teaching in l986. My part time practice in traditional counseling shifted focus to the matters of depth psychology and the dream.
Beyond significant career diversification, my commitment to the dream has resulted in profound personal growth. Dreams continuously guide my transformation by encouraging changes in practical physical behaviors, basic psychological matters and an expanded, altered world view. I am uneasy if I begin my day without recording and working with at least one dream since I have learned that my awake self frequently does not know enough to make creative and healthy decisons without the guidance of my dreams.
I was always thrilled when the lightbulb blinked and then finally held steady as a young student discovered that powerful meaning was contained within those pesky squiggles on pages. Similarly, the greatest reward of professional dream work is seeing awareness lit when the dreamer recognizes the brilliant meaning of the metaphors created by their personal inner guiding force hiding inside their dream. The awareness that is activated by understanding an isolated dream is multiplied and intensified by studying a recurring symbol and unlocking the metaphors that are found within a dream series.