You are currently viewing 2 DAY WORKSHOP |  Peninsula Home Hospice (Australia 2019)

2 DAY WORKSHOP | Peninsula Home Hospice (Australia 2019)

August 5th and 6th, 2019 (Melbourne); August 7th (Mornington) and  August 9th and 10th, 2019 (Sydney)

Experiential Workshops on Prescriptive Memories and Dreamscaping

Presenter:  Nancy Gershman, memory artist and developer of Dreamscaping

“For clients who understand intellectually but not emotionally what it is they need to do, dreamscaping is a breakthrough.  Imagine one organizing principle—bring me your favorite or good-enough memory— being able to help an individual fulfill an intention, wish, dream or longing.”

-Nancy Gershman

Dreamscaping is an exciting new approach in grief and loss therapy that uses resourcing and re-scripting, mental simulations, memory reconsolidation and photo art to shift the focus from “what do you miss?” to “what gives you joy?”  Call it visual reframing or visualized narrative therapy, Dreamscaping begins with the therapist collecting a client’s favorite felt memories about one’s self, a person, place, or thing they would like to return to. Together, therapist and client then reimagine these good or good-enough memories (or memory fragments) until a “prescriptive memory” with a new narrative infused with novelty and emotional meaning takes shape.  Once assessed and refined, the prescriptive memory can then be given form as an image-based art object that serves as a resource or impetus for re-engagement with the world.

Learning Outcomes

– Describe how through resourcing, rescripting and mental simulations, Dreamscaping assesses positive (sensory-rich) memories for their potential to build a prescriptive memory that can counter feelings of regret, remorse or profound loneliness.

– Demonstrate how a prescriptive memory can update a distressing memory with a brief reminder, positive interfering material, a reward response, novel learning, a grounding focus and disconfirming or unexpected information.

– Recount cases where taking Dreamscaping to the next level —by constructing a tangible version of the prescriptive memory from photographs and collage materials— helped clients re-engage with their support network through emails and texts, social media, family reunions and legacy dedications.

2 Day Melbourne Workshop at Abbotsford Convent, 9.30am-4:30pm.   Morning tea: 11.00am to 11.15am.   Lunch: 12.30pm to 1.30pm.     Afternoon tea: 2:45pm to 3.00pm.

1 Day Mornington Workshop at Peninsula Home Hospice, the sponsoring institution, 9.30am-4:30pm. Morning tea: 11.00am to 11.15am.   Lunch: 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

2 Day Sydney Workshop at The Loft & Earth Complex, 9.30am-4:30pm. Attendees are advised to arrive early in order to sign in.  Morning tea: 11.00am to 11.15am.   Lunch: 12.30pm to 1.30pm.     Afternoon tea: 2:45pm to 3.00pm.

OPD Points:  12

Workshop Content:

How can we reach individuals who are shut down emotionally and less easily engaged in psychodynamic work; who don’t have the ability or energy to engage with art therapy materials, or who are fixed in their painful or negative foci?

In this 12-hour master class, you will be introduced to Dreamscaping: a strengths-based, collaborative, and future-oriented approach that harnesses the neuroplasticity of the brain to create resiliency and reconnection as one anticipates loss or suffers in the wake of it.  Through lively discussion, deconstructing audio recordings of dreamscaping sessions, live demonstrations of dreamscaping by its developer, Nancy Gershman, concluding  with skill-building as you dreamscape in pairs, you will personally experience how profound shifts can occur so that a new learning deposits itself in one’s explicit memory.

As a perfect companion to the book which manualizes the modality, this 2-day workshop provides you with a certificate of 12-hours of ongoing professional development training on the topic of dreamscaping.

The takeaway?

–  Interviewing techniques that are a cross between constructivist approaches and dignity therapy, to tease out not only positive core memories of your hospice patients, their family members, or the bereaved, but also smoke out yet unmet needs;

– Brainstorming strategies for using observational humor,  deep play and magic realism to optimize the positive charge of these memories and compound the memory your clients need in their own imagination; and

– Creation of your own tangible prescriptive memory (or “dreamscape”) made by, with or in parallel with your partner, which you can use later as a dosing tool for self-soothing or as a healthy conversation starter with your own clients!

RSVP:  Mary Wright.  Call 03 5973 2400 or email

Nancy Gershman bio: 

Nancy Gershman is a creative arts practitioner and the developer of Dreamscaping, an imaginal and arts-based approach to grief and loss, supported by the way memories get encoded in the brain.  Presenting her work internationally to art/expressive arts therapists, social workers, psychologists, pastoral care counselors, bereavement counselors and others interested in innovative approaches for working with people at the end of life and in the aftermath of significant loss, she also works in a supervisory role, training therapists in the use of Dreamscaping for grief and loss.  Most recently, she is the co-author of “Prescriptive Memories in Grief and Loss: The Art of Dreamscaping”  (Routledge, 2019) with Barbara E. Thompson.  She has authored chapters in Robert A. Neimeyer’s Techniques of Grief Therapy (Routledge, 2012, 2016), and the Annals of American Psychotherapy (2010) with Jenna Baddeley, PhD.  For her work as a memory artist at Visiting Nurse Service of NY/Haven Hospice, she was featured as NY1’s “New Yorker of the Week” (2016).  Dreamscaping with the eating-disordered clients of art psychotherapist Lauren Lazar Stern led to a traveling exhibition (2013) at New York University, University of Rochester and the University of Chicago.  Since 2013, she hosts Death Café NYC. She is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work in Advanced Clinical Practice at Columbia University, New York City.