Graywolf Fred Swinney, M.A.
Iona Miller

Copyright, 1992; All Rights Reserved

Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. &  Ed Glovinsky, M.D.


FOREWORD, by Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.


Chapter 1:  Chaos Consciousness and Healing
Chapter 2:  Dreamhealing - The Heart of Dreams
Chapter 3:  Human Dimensions of Chaos Theory
Chapter 4:  Ego and Healing - A Model of Consciousness
Chapter 5:  Speculations on a New Paradigm


Chapter 6:  The Shaman/Therapist - Imagination, Creativity & Vision
Chapter 7:  The Dream Journey as Heroic Quest
Chapter 8:  The Dream Guide - Navigating the Stream of Consciousness
Chapter 9:  Dream Journey Guidelines - The Practice of Dreamhealing
Chapter 10: Case Studies in Creativity



Stanley Krippner, PhD

In 1971, Fred Swinney was told by his physician that he had, at most, three years to live.  He suffered from hypertension, heart disease, ulcers, and hypoglycemia.  Seeing a connection between his weakened physical condition and his job pressures as an engineer, Swinney entered psychotherapy.  This experience not only alleviated his physical problems, but prompted him to enter a training program in Transactional Analysis.  Swinney received his license in Transactional Analysis in 1975 and began seeing clients.

In 1976, Swinney was travelling by canoe to James Bay in the northern Ontario wilderness.  One night, he feel asleep before the smoldering fire and had a dream in which animal predators emerged from the woods, tore him apart, and devoured him.  Waking in terror, Swinney opened his eyes and stared at the coals.  Just beyond, he could discern two yellow-green eyes and the shadowy form of a wolf.  Much to his surprise, Swinney experienced total surrender instead of fear.  he stared at the wolf, the worlf appeared to stare back, and Swinney felt a oneness with all that surrounded him.

Eventually the wolf slipped back into the forest, but Swinney still felt its presence in his mind and body.  He realized that in some strange way he had become a wolf.  Having been devoured in his dream, he had been reborn a wolf upon awakening.  A few weeks later, Swinney left the wilderness and returned to his family and clients.  He attempted to forget the episode since it had been remarkably different than anything he had previously experienced.  Swinney completed his Master's degree in 1980 and avoided any activity that would again evoke his wolflike nature.

Five years after, during a group therapy session held while fire was flickering in Swinney's fireplace, one of his clients expressed extreme anger.  Suddenly, Swinney had a mental image of Libra, the Greek goddess of justice, holding her balanced scales.  He asked his client if she could relate to this image.  The woman erupted with emotion, telling the group how, during her childhood, her mother had tried to treat her and her sister equally.  When the client did not experience this fairness in later life, it upset her and she could not cope with other people very well.  Upon working through her memories of her early experiences and subsequent expectations, the client was able to accept the inequities in her relationships.  Eventually, she was able to terminate therapy.

Swinney realized that his evocation of the image resembled his experience with the wolf.  Similar episodes occurred.  Invariably, Swinney's images, hunches, and insights were of great value to his clients.  Swinney realized that the wolf had returned and had demonstrated the way in which it could be of assistance, even in civilization.

Swinney resolved to learn more about wolves and was surprised to read that in all probability the wolf he had seen in Canada would not have attacked him as he slept before his fire.  Two friends gave him books about wolves even though they knew nothing about his resolution or his experience in the forest.  Swinney's readings also yielded information about shamans and how they frequently dream about being devoured and reborn during their initiation and training.

Swinney also learned that shamans were the world's first psychotherapists.  Shamans often claim to have animal "guides" that assist their work with clients, and often report feelings of unity with their surroundings.  After five years of running away from his inner wolf, Swinney again surrendered, just as he had that night in the woods before the coals of his campfire.  He took the name "Graywolf" and introduced elements from shamanism into his work as a psychotherapist.  Graywolf used rituals and ceremonies with his clients, both in individual and group sessions.  He looked for mythic themes, animal "guides," and spiritual symbols in his clients' dreams.  He made use of guided imagery sessions and had clients carve, draw, mold, or paint those images that seemed to possess healing qualities.  He encouraged body awareness through breathing exercises, dance, and movement.

Graywolf had shared these experiences with me when we first met.  We saw each other again in 1984 at the annual meeting of the Association for Humanistic Psychology near Boston.  I was scheduled to give a presentation on shmanism with a colleague who was flying in from out of town.  My colleague's flight was delayed; thus I asked Graywolf to take his place.  Graywolf told his story to a group of several hundred people and led them in some breathing and imagery exercises that he had found useful with his clients.  Graywolf's comments were very well received and he felt positive about sharing his private experiences with a large group of interested people.

Since that time, Graywolf has shared his experiences with thousands of individuals and dozens of groups.  In addition, he has moved from Western psychotherapy to native shamanism to the dreamhealing tradition of ancient Greece and Rome.  But this is hardly a step backwards, as he has combined this with chaos theory, arguably one of the most vital models of the upcoming 21st century.

Chaos theory is the branch of mathematics for the study of processes that seem so complex that at first they do not appear to be governed by any known laws or principles, but which actually have an underlying order that can be described by vector calculus and its associated geometry.  Examples of chaotic processes include a stream of rising smoke that breaks down and becomes turbulent, water flowing in a stream or crashing at the bottom of a waterfall, electroencephalographic activity of the brain, changes in animal populations, fluctuations on the stock exchange, and the weather -- either local or global.  All of these phenomena involve the interaction of several elements and the pattern of their changes over time.

The rate of change of each of the variables or elements involved depends on the other variables, and the rules of the rate of change must be nonlinear for the chaotic temporal patterns to occur.  When basic processes of systems are connected interactively, they are called "dynamical systems," which is the parent branch of mathematics of which chaos theory is a subdiscipline.

Classical chaos theory deals with a calculus of infinite duration and resolution which, of course, may or may not exist in the actual world, but is beyond the resolution of our knowledge of the actual world.  Thus, in the mathematical models of chaos one encounters "sensitivity to initial conditions" where even the smallest difference in initial conditions can lead to a large difference in position later on within a chaotic attractor.  Therefore, since our knowledge of initial conditions is never exact but bound to inexact observation, our prediction into the future is limited, more so the further into the future we try to predict.  Until recently, it was presumed that chaotic systems, like classical linear systems, tended toward stable equilibrium (fixed point) or period attractors and that the erratic behavior found in actuality resulted from unidentified variables not yet detected.

For example, researchers believed that the weather would be predictable if it were somehow possible to gather enough information about all relevant variables.  Precision about knowledge thus derives not from insufficient information about the number of processes involved which could be very few to describe very complex chaotic attractors, but from the complexity of their interaction plus the imprecision concerning our measurement information at some arbitrary starting time about the exact state of the system.  Our useful knowledge of the system, which is very orderly and deterministic, concerns its behavioral characteristics, i.e. the features of the attractor, rather than making an exact prediction of its future state at an exact time.

Geometric patterns with repetitive self-similar features have been called "fractals" because of their fractional dimension, and because of the sheer beauty of these forms.  Many chaotic attractors display fractals when sliced, like opening an orange.  Thus, fractal dimensions are one of the many numerical properties used to characterize chaotic attractors along with measures of the simultaneously convergent and divergent characteristics which have led many to characterize chaotic attractors as like the stretching and folding of bread dough or taffy.  Rapid Eye Movement sleep (the period of the sleep cycle from which most dream reports emerge) could be chaotic in nature and contain this type of attractor.

Graywolf grounds his work in chaos theory, but he also claims roots in the ancient Asklepian temples.  Here it was the dream experience itself, not the interpretation of the dream, that was felt to heal pilgrims.  One of Graywolf's contributions to the field of dreamworking is his facilitation of a healing effect directly from the dream process itself.  His client's dream experiences are just as carefully nurtured as those provided by the Greek and Roman priests; Graywolf's contrivances range from dream incubation to white river rafting!  Graywolf claims that in some cases only one such intense event may be necessary to produce a lasting positive change in a client's life.  Before dismissing this possibility as wishful thinking or self-deception, one should consider that a single traumatic event can have devastating effects; the power of recovery can certainly be as forceful as the tumult of trauma.  In addition, one needs to examine Graywolf's 8-step process that encompasses this life-changing event, steps that range from "the pilgrimage" to "the re-entry."

Graywolf's Creative Consciousness Process is based on a unique model of the human psyche, and can provide a roadmap for the tribal shaman as well as the dreamhealer.  Both frequently travel into the mythic underworld to find and retrieve the lost souls of their clients.  I have seen contemporary shamans make this perilous journey on behalf of a person whose soul has been absconded by the forces of addiction, depression, or life-threatening accidents.  Sometimes, the soul must be persuaded to return; at other times it does not know it is lost and must be informed; and on still other occasions the soul is held captive by the spirits of cocaine, heroin, alcohol, or other seductive substances.  Most contemporary psychotherapists dismiss the concept of "soul" as superstitious, yet they do so at their peril.  They may treat their clients' bodies, feelings, and intellects, but may never restore wholeness to them unless they explore the spiritual dimension of the psyche.

In Graywolf's model, the shaman/dreamhealer and his or her client emerge from the depths of the psyche through various development levels, beginning with conception and ending with behavior.  The lost soul has been found, retrieved, and revitalized, and this new wholeness is reflected in the client's daily activities.  The source of dreams, according to Graywolf, is located at primal levels of the psyche as the brain experiences itself during sleep.  Like the fractals of chaos theory, brain centers undulate through cycles of firing and rest, processing both externally-generated and internally-generated input, shaping plots and narratives, creating symbols and metaphors.  Once more, order is generated from chaos.

Another one of Graywolf's contributions is to find the genesis of the Creative Consciousness Process in evolutionary theory and ecological psychology.  Rapid Eye Movement sleep probably served an evolutionary function as small mammals formulated strategies of survival during sleep, checking them against the memories of their daily experience.  This was the beginning of the brain's capacity to create stories from the morass of internally-evoked images during the night -- stories that would often become cultural and personal myths, themselves important determinants of social survival.  In our time, as Earth itself struggles to survive the onslaught of human exploitation, the Creative Consciousness process sees its task as reminding individuals and groups of their connection to the rest of Nature, and to awaken them to the fact that the very survival of humankind may rest on honoring this connection, not severing it still further.

Tribal shamans recognized the ecology of consciousness; their techniques often were chaotic yet the disorder produced through drumming, dancing, and mind-altering plants induced shifts in consciousness that led to a new order that could be both healing and life-enhancing.  I have participated in sweat lodge rites, drumming ceremonies, and dancing rituals where the heat was so intense, the music was so overwhelming, and the movement so exhausting that the only way to stay with the process was to shift into a state of consciousness where my ordinary limitations were expanded or transcended.  Again, order can emerge from chaos; today's shaman/dreamhealer takes advantage of this knowledge.

Graywolf has facilitated numerous hero's and heroine's journeys for his clients over the past several years, encouraging their departure, validating their discoveries, and celebrating their return.  They realize at profoundly deep levels of the psyche where their growth has been stalemated and how flow can be restored.  By providing sacred internal and external sites for this change to occur, Graywolf has revived the dreamhealing tradition.  Asklepios would be pleased.


PREFACE of DREAMHEALING“Journey to the Healing Heart of Your Dreams”
Asklepios, Greek God of Healing. The Asklepia Foundation Home Page

The Institute for Consciousness Science and Technology     The Chaosophical Society

The Asklepia Foundation is a non-profit research/educational institution (ICST), and spiritual organization (Chaosophical Society) which provides services and outreach to the local and global community.  Incorporated in Oregon, our mission is to provide sanctuary (Aesculapia Wilderness Retreat), and explore the role of the Consciousness Restructuring Process (CRP) in consciousness, creativity and psychophysical healing with Applied Consciousness Science.  A process-goal of the Foundation is the reintegration of therapy, spirituality and science.  Our purposes include raising appreciation for the value of dreams and REM, training mentors and conducting research in CRP and Consciousness Engineering, as well as publishing. Asklepios (Gr.) or Aesculapius (Rom.) is the god of spontaneous psychophysical healing through non-interpretive dream processes.  Asklepia Foundation continues to honor and further this tradition by creating a sacred precinct devoted to dreams and healing.

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AESCULAPIA: From Ancient Dream Healing Temples to Wilderness Dream Retreat
LIGHT SLEEPERS: Self Reports from CRP Journeys
River of Dreams Whitewater Adventure

picture of Graywolf rafting the Rogue River.

"Come.  It is time."

"The dreamwork I did with you is always with me.  It moved me then and it moves me still as a beautiful unveiling of Life the Healer, love of the body, hiding long and deep in the chaos of the human mystery."

"I have had many different counselings and therapies.  None went as deep as this process; none went deep enough for the healing I desired.  The CRP Dream Process did."

"As we began to work within my dreams, I found that I had come home.  I had begun a remarkable journey into the inner reality of myself, where I came to know a profound strength grounded in a deep personal trust."


"Our separation from each other is an optical illusion of consciousness."
"We are seeking for the simplest possible scheme of thought that will bind together the observed facts."
                                                                                            --Albert Einstein
Healing in the Heart of Your Dreams
Light Sleepers
Remembering REM
Case Studies
Creative Chaos
Tatyana's Dream of Passage
Holographic Healing
Delta Dreams
Chaos Consciousness in Psychotherapy
Crowning Moments
How Placebos Heal
Organic Dreams
The Changing Healing Paradigm
Clarifying Dreams
Medicine Wheel
 CRP in Family Therapy
 Quantum Body-Mind
 Fibromyalgia and CRP


"[CRP] therapy is where Psychology is going.  It is the future."  Dr. Victoria Luviano, Ph.D., Mexico City.
"I got more from one session than five years of therapy." Participant, San Francisco.
"I've never seen anything like this in all my years of therapy.  It goes beyond it all."  Participant, Chicago.
"Something really profound is happening with this work.  You can see and sense it."  Dr. Thomas Blakely, Ph.D., Portland, Oregon.
"I've been looking for the next step in my work and development as a therapist, and this is it.  It answers my concerns and hopes about counseling and where it is going."  Counselor, Chicago.
"I tried this with a client.  Not only wass there noticeable change during the session, but when he came back the next week he announced it was still working on him and he was ready to begin leaving therapy."  Psychiatrist, Oregon.
"The consciousness states reached here are the same as those we saw at the Menninger Clinic when we were studying esoteric healings, and in the most transformative of the LSD therapy experiences.  My own experience with it has healed an issue that eluded resolution in almost forty years of personal work with the best of my colleagues."  Psychiatrist, Houston, Texas.
"I don't know if it was the dream journeys or not, but since taking them my high blood pressure has dropped and stabilized almost twenty points lower than it was.  I'm actually bordering on low blood pressure now."  Client, Cincinnati, Ohio.
"Since the work we did, that one session, I just can't go back to the guns and weapons mentality; something in me just won't do it.  I keep hearing the crickets."  Client, Florida.
"We have all been given an opening with this work, an opportunity to begin a new journey in life."  70+ year old Participant, Mexico City.


Picture of Graywolf Drumming.
"The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical.  It is the power of all true art and science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger is as good as dead.  To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms--this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness."
                                                                               --Albert Einstein
Rhythm and Resonance
CRP Art of Drumming
The Empty Medicine Bag
Experiential Breakthrough
Disruption: Life Beyond the Circle
Chaotic Consciousness
When Coyote Stole the Dreams
Transforming Passages
Visions of A Visionary
Healing by Telling Dreams to Shaman


Photo Gallery
Training Brochure


Dr. Stanley Krippner and Graywolf Swinney
Graywolf and Stan Krippner


Dream Network:http://dreamnetwork.net
Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology: http://www.societyforchaostheory.org
Iona Miller Homepage:  http://www.geocities.com/iona_m/
Dr. Stanley Krippner c/o http://www.saybrook.edu/

BRITISH REPRESENTATIVE: Jane Mallin at janemallin@hotmail.com

by Iona Miller, 5/25/00

Learn to trust the process to find a way through the wilderness,
From psychosomatic distress to natural healing consciousness.
The nature of creativity reflected in fire, water, earth, and air,
Works together in the Journey with R.E.M., to restructure and repair.
In stress, dis-ease, nightmares, and dreams we are drowned quite;
Entertaining consciousness dynamics find we dream not just at night.
The potentially healed structure is flowing silently in secret veins,
Realizing new perception and holistic healing can ease all pains.
Running the psyche’s rapids there is no need to withstand,
Like the snake eating its tail, flow with it to fully understand.
Synergetic imagination, vision and dreams help us enter the flow,
Visitations by Asklepios and Hygeia help us to heal and grow.
Immersion in the consciousness field is mentored by shaman/therapist,
Who guides and helps us to enter the fear and pain to de-stress.
Once entering that healing dreamstream with co-consciousness,
Let go and trust the navigating guide or mentor with emotional finesse.
In olden times creative consciousness appeared as a healing serpent,
The results today are the same when immersion in the field is fervent.
Escape the cage of perceptions, following leading strange attractors,
Journeying deeply ferrets out hidden variables and other factors.
The way was outlined in ancient Greece in the Asklepian cult,
Employing pilgrimage, purification and dreams to heal and exalt:
Close your eyes, breathe and relax, just fill your mind with a dream,
Walk through, going deeper now, notice and share what is supreme.
What’s happening is visceral and need not be at all logical,
Trust your imagination, feel your primal essence as literal.
Release and let go of old notions like a serpent sheds its skin,
Allowing whatever happens, nothing appears that won’t fit in.
Give in and accept those sensations, staying with it going deeper,
Even though it hurts or scares you, I’ll be with you as a waykeeper.
Stay with that energy just a little while longer and let it develop,
Become it, and in that fundamental image revel, and let it envelop.
Find the healing heart of the dream after the vicious maelstrom,
Through all the zones let those healing energies from within come.
It becomes part of you, cellular and genetic; take it in as new resource,
A renascent primal self-image forms, as a matter of natural course.
Creative consciousness may lead to reliving your conception,
With full awareness of the situation surrounding first penetration.
Some find within their journey a voyage to the reiteration of birth,
Imagery may inspire fear and terror of which there is no dirth.
Its OK to weep and wail and grieve, to let go finally and lament,
In the natural healing process it is creative, and not a detriment.
It may be alleged you exist and are therefore bad and stand accused,
Life may have buffeted you with insults which damaged and abused.
Perhaps you still feel cowed and suppressed, like a little child frail,
Out of control, depressed or rageful as those forces continue to assail.
Without intervention, symptoms and patterns persist and never rest,
All the unhealed traumas keep happening and perpetually molest.
The mentor or guide takes your lead and helps give the pain a face,
Expressing one’s weakness is safe now, and its appearance no disgrace.
Nearing the dis-ease structure, the memories and images are monstrous,
We are assailed by mighty natural forces, violent and truly furious.
But they only herald sensory memories of forthcoming dawning light,
Creative consciousness redesigns our core and brings welcome respite.
Your earliest formative conditions may indeed have been horrible,
Diving into the unknown territory may seem disorienting and terrible.
Deep knowing at the organismic level can alleviate that hollowness,
And salve the woundedness within that defended this wretchedness.
The journey moves through a spectrum of zones that leave you aghast, 
And at the most intense part of the catharsis may feel like a harsh blast.
The first steps of the journey, of course, begin with pilgrimage,
A visit to another world, sanctuary of a more primal healing village.
Identifying the problem, where you’ve missed the mark, is a confession,
This is a baby step in releasing what has harmed through its retention.
Bathing in spring waters and sweating for opening and purification,
Can bring a sense of the Holy Grail’s elixer that is a healing libation.
To secure the gifts of the gods, it is helpful to profer an offering,
Something of symbolic value to you which implies a sense of suffering.
Then comes the core of the process--the ritual of dream incubation,
That starts the alchemical process, leading to concentration or titration:
Through a quantum leap of consciousness restructuring and emanation,
Followed through close attention to the serpent’s rhythmic undulation.
Zone 1 includes behavior patterns, games, rackets and symptoms;
Zone 2 is the dance of emotions and thoughts that hold us victims.
Zone 3 is the region of adopted belief systems, largely unconscious,
Zone 4 is personal and transpersonal mythology, the collective in us.
Zone 5, quantum consciousness, edge of Creation, strange attractors,
Which draw us down to 6, blank mind of Chaos’ unknowable factors.
This is the most fundamental perception, healing restructuring energy,
A dwelling place like finding Home, open to life’s infinite possibility.
Find your sanctuary there, completely immersed in deep knowing,
Not needing even to recognize the healing seeds Chaos is sowing.
The river of consciousness dynamics is a stream that’s ever-flowing,
And the natural healing process can be visited by simply freely going.
Re-enter now, come back renewed, emerging from the crucible of chaos,
Self-organizing heals; those forces that assailed no longer betray us.
Flowing with it, we have liquified, dissolved in the universal solvent,
Restructuring echoes a holographic model of evolution’s involvement.
Changes are real and permanent and entail automatic integration,
And this whole-self healing has a by-product of spiritual elation.
Asklepios knew the inherent healing power contained within the dream,
Giving mankind a chaotic winding pathway to healing, serpentine.
"Come.  It is time."
Dreamhealing by Iona Miller

Click here to go to Preface.

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