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Counseling/Changing a dream


I keep having dreams in which I fail and wake up with depression. How can I change my dreams so I can wake up in the morning with a positive outlook?

Hi - Try the idea that part of your personality is a "Dream Maker," who is trying to tell you something.

Get quiet and relaxed, choose an open mind, and ask this part to give you an image of itself. If it will. focus on the image and ask (in your mind) "What are you trying to tell me?" - and then be open to anything that comes into your mind [thoughts, images, memories, hunches, etc.]  Ask for clarification or explanation as needed. When done, ask your Dream Maker to stop giving you this dream.

A more thoro approach is to assess whether you inherited psychological wounds from early-childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse (trauma):  If so. these wounds may be [in]directly causing your dream and "depression."

In general, I encourage you to study online "lesson 1" at  It's about healing yourself and living a better life. Questions = welcome - Pete


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about mood disorders, depression, suicide, relationships, communication skills, problem solving, clear thinking, bonding disorders, trauma recovery, addiction management, grieving, shame, guilt, fear, reality distortion, and trust disorders; courtship, family functioning, "problem kids," mediation, (re)marriage, divorce, stepfamilies, stepparenting, boundaries, self-neglect, abuse, parental neglect, personality subselves, ("parts work"). I cannot answer legal or medical questions.


I maintained a private therapy practice near Chicago for 27 years, and have worked with over 1,000 men, women, couples, and families on a wide range of personal and family problems. I have been in personal recovery from growing up in an alcoholic family since 1986, and have worked with five therapists to heal my own psychological wounds. I maintained a "warm (phone) line" for callers on the topics above for 20 years, and have taught over 200 seminars and classes in midwestern universities, churches, support groups, and schools since 1981. I have practiced internal-family therapy ("parts work") with trauma-recoverers since 1991.

National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council; Compassion and Choices, and Final Exit Network

# Several hundred articles in my non-profit "Break the Cycle!" Web site at These articles are augmented by over 150 educational YouTube videos .

# six books on childhood-trauma recovery, effective communication, and stepfamily courtship, coparenting, and management.

A bachelors degree in mechanical engineering (BSME, 1959) from Stanford University, a Masters degree in clinical Social Work, (MSW, 1981), and over 500 hours of post-grad training in the topics above - including clinical hypnosis, spirituality, codependence, addicrtion-management, and guided imagery. My post-grad traning includes two 9-month internships on doing internal-family therapy at the University of Illinois.

Awards and Honors
Hundreds of grateful emails and comments from students and clients all over the world.

Past/Present Clients
Over 1,000 average Midwestern-US women, men, couples, and families. A physical disability limits me to doing telephone and Skype counseling now.

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