Research is a process of enquiry into the nature of things. Social Dreaming has been practised since the 1980’s and is increasingly used in consultancy to groups and organisations and in the exploration of social phenomena. Yet research into the nature of social dreaming is only just beginning to be formalised (see Long and Manley, 2019).

Such research is twofold. First, there is the need for research establishing the veracity of social dreaming: its validity and effects. Case studies, such as those currently in the literature, especially in the edited works of Gordon Lawrence, are one path towards this goal. Other paths need also to be established: longitudinal studies; follow-ups to case studies; effects of social dreaming in organisational and community studies; cross-cultural uses of social dreaming;  systemic and contextual influences on social dreaming; studies about the influence of matrix hosts with different styles; the nature of containment in a social dreaming matrix – the list goes on.

Second, social dreaming can be regarded as a research method in itself because it is a method of enquiry into the nature of social phenomena – conscious and unconscious. Understanding this method, how it works, its philosophy of science, its basis in associative thinking; its methodological roots and the ethics of its use are all critical areas of research (Long and Manley 2019; Long, 2016, Long and Harney 2013; Manley, 2010. 2019).

Members of SDiN hope to encourage and foster further research into social dreaming theory and practice


Lawrence, W.G. and Long, S.D. (2010) ‘The Creative Frame of Mind’ in The Creativity of Social Dreaming edited by W. G. Lawrence London: Karnac.

Long, S.D and Manley, J. (2019) Social Dreaming: Philosophy, Research, Theory and Practice Routledge: London

Long, S.D. (2016) ‘The Transforming Experience Framework and Unconscious Processes: A brief journey through the history of the concept of the unconscious as applied to person, system and context with an exploratory hypothesis of unconscious as source.’ In Long, S.D. (ed) (2016) Transforming Experience in Organisations. Karnac: London.

Long, S.D. and Harney (2013) ‘The Associative Unconscious’ in Socioanalytic Methods edited by S. Long London: Karnac

Long, S.D. (2013) (ed.) 

Manley, J. (2010) ‘From Cause and Effect to Effectual Causes: Can we talk of a philosophical background to psycho-social studies? Journal of Psycho-Social Studies Volume 4, Issue 1, June 2010.

Manley, J (2019) Social Dreaming, Associative Thinking and Intensities of Affect Routledge: London