I think of you as a 'kindred spirit,' including the parallel tracks our scholarship has traveled. We both came to appreciate the existence and potentialities of reflective awareness in non-lucid dreams, for example! I was just poking around on your fabulous 'spiritual mentoring' website (www.spiritualmentoring.com) and was drawn to your 2010 article on the Five-Star Method. I really like the emphasis you place on the interaction between the 'process' features (e.g., reflective awareness and attentional focus) and 'content features' (dream content/imagery) and their reciprocal influence (clearly, we've both been deeply influenced by Rossi's and Moffitt's work.  I also like how your approach highlights, to be blunt, how misguided it is to base an exploration of the dream's 'meaning' (for the person) on the dream report alone -- and, especially, in the absence of the dreamer!! You've articulated so effectively why 'gleaning' meaning requires the participation of the dreamer!!  I can see better now why you were excited to come across my empirical studies of reflective awareness in non-lucid dreams :)

Thank you for your continued support and inspiration!


Tracey Kahan, PhD

Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Santa Clara, Keynote speaker at the 2012 annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and Invited Keynote at the 2016 First Online Dream Research Conference, sponsored by IASD


I think your greatest genius lies in the gift of linking dream to archetype to personal story in a way no else even comes close to mastering, in large part because of your great depth and repertoire of symbols, myths, and meanings and ability to pull it all together in real time.

Meghan Toffey, LCSW


Scott Sparrow's dissertation was a historic milestone in the field of lucid dreaming.  In this dissertation, Sparrow introduced Dream Reliving, a lucid dreaming induction technique that involves re-experiencing troubling dreams from a lucid perspective while awake. Through this technique, he inaugurated a new direction within the science of lucid dreaming...and was the first researcher to integrate the lucid dream induction process into a thoroughly developed psychotherapeutic approach to dreamwork. Since the early 1980s, Sparrow has developed and refined this technique, and remains at the forefront of exploring the relationship between psychotherapy and lucid dreaming. 

Chris Olsen, PhD, Lucid dream historian


I want to tell you that I felt unexpectedly light and relieved after our conversation, and that feeling has remained with me since then. It's as though something has been cleared, yet I have not even begun what you asked me to do. I am sure now that I did the right thing in seeking your help. 

T. Z., client


Dr. Scott Sparrow was the first American practitioner to explore the transformative benefits of working with lucid dreaming. He now offers a novel and extremely effective technique to explore all types of dreams through his impressive FiveStar method of discovering parallels in dreaming style and currrent patterns of waking life behavior.

Robert Van de Castle, PhD, author of Our Dreaming Mind and co-author  with Calvin Hall of the classic, The Content Analysis of Dreams.


I've been an active dream worker for the past 30 years, working primarily on my own dreams. I've studied and practiced many techniques, but never before had I known anyone to focus on the co-creative nature of dreams. A lucid dreamer myself, I was immediately intrigued to learn the FiveStar method. Now having completed the certification course, I am so grateful to have these new skills. The methods that Scott teaches are highly effective in gaining greater clarity about each dream. My personal dream work has been greatly enhanced and I now feel ready to assist others in discovering what their dreams have to show them, too.

Leah Ann Bolen

E-Mail: leahbruns@cox.net


The FiveStar method of dream investigation developed by Dr. Sparrow appealed to me after recognizing that modern neuroscience and psychology still lean too heavily on the Freudian theory of dreaming. Dozens of New Age or New Thought approaches seem a bit simplistic and incomplete from my estimation.

The FiveStar method is a holistic approach emphasizing the co-creative nature of dreaming while recognizing the potential for the dreamer's active, sometimes lucid, participation in the dream. This empowers the dreamer with the ability to influence dream content, and which subsequently imbues the experience with the potential for a powerful ameliorative and healing effect for the dreamer. I have found FiveStar as holistic, compassionate, and inclusive.

John Wigan, M.A.

Website: Fourth Heart Alliance

E-Mail: fourth.heart.alliance@gmail.com

John’s phone: 608-406-6912

I have recognized in the FiveStar Method, which is based on the co-creative/co-determinant paradigm, a reliable conduit for connecting and working with the fundamental soul-level creativity that underpins the most essential impulses of human life both as encountered via dreams and in the correlated content of waking life. While incorporating significant appreciation for the imagery presented in the dream, this approach to dreams builds on the hypothesis, first proposed by Ernest Rossi in 1972, that dreams are created through the interactive relationship between the dreaming mind and the dream itself. In five steps – best understood sequentially, yet adaptable and flexible in practice – the FiveStar Method of dream analysis puts the dreamer responses (including feelings, choices, actions, etc.) at the center of the dream work process. From this orientation, the dreamer is empowered to engage in a process of personal discovery and exploration with very hopeful implications for her development or healing as the patterns of dreamer responses revealed within her dreams give way to new, more adaptive responses in waking life.

Kim Phetteplace, M.A.
Website: WhenDreamsDance.com
E-Mail: kim.phetteplace@yahoo.com
Kim's phone: 608-397-5201

After completing the FiveStar Method of dream analysis (Modules 3-5 in this course), my perspective on working with dreams had shifted dramatically. I was no longer focused on unraveling the meaning of the often bizarre and fascinating dream images which dominate the dream landscape. Instead, my attention was guided towards the more subtle pieces of the dream, with greater emphasis being placed on the dreamer and his or her responses throughout the dream. Placing the dreamer first and foremost as an interactive, co-creator of the dream, rather than a bystander, was a vital piece of learning for me and one that has proved extremely helpful in working with my own dreams, as well as with others. Although I had experienced some lucid dreams in the past and read about lucid dreaming, the work I did in the FiveStar Method was with what has been described as “ordinary” dreams. Interestingly, during my training in the FiveStar Method, I had a lucid dream (the first for me in a long time) and I was delighted to begin this module to learn more about this type of dreaming.  

Experiencing the FiveStar Method and then embarking on this first module has felt a bit like reading a story backwards; at first a little disorientating and then with a renewal of interest and understanding. What struck me after completing this module was the foundational piece that research and interest in lucid dreaming has had in the formulation of this particular approach to dream analysis. 

In lucid dreaming, the dreamer becomes aware that they are in the dream state and are therefore able to “take part” in the dream or influence the dream in some way. The dreamer plays an important role in the development of the dream itself and can chose to interact or not with the dream characters or dream images. By focusing on the dreamer’s role in the dream, lucid dreaming has opened the doors to an exploration of “ordinary” dreams in a similar way. Seeing “ordinary” dreams as a co-creative process between the dreamer and the dream content can empower dreamers to look at their choices within the dream and explore similar responses or habitual patterns in their waking life.

In lucid dreaming, the dreamer is able to make conscious choices within the dream. With an exploration of “ordinary” dreams that looks at dreamer responses and how these may be playing out in a person’s waking life, a person may be able to make conscious choices in the waking state which can be then be transposed onto to a person's waking life.  

There is definitely a certain magic or mysticism associated with lucid dreaming, and I believe that it is a normal human desire to want to experience these states, especially with the “bliss” and “ecstasy” connected to some of these experiences. Although working with “ordinary” dreams may not bring about as profound an experience as lucid dreaming, I believe there is great potential for healing, resolution and even some moments of great clarity and light which can happen through working with "ordinary" dreams using this kind of approach.

Patty Forward, PhD

I came across Dr. Scott Sparrow's DreamStar Institute by chance and I couldn't be happier that chance was pregnant with success. Dr. Sparrow's FiveStar Method is comprehensive, integrative, holistic, and easy to learn; it's a fantastic approach to dreamwork, as it offers a rich multi-layered analysis that focuses on many elements, not just one. 

I'm most grateful to Dr Sparrow for his support, encouragement and mentoring during the certification course and the subsequent practicum, and for preparing me so well in a relatively short period of time. He helped me to find the volunteers necessary to carry out my practicum, something that I greatly value because the practicum is the most challenging, albeit enjoyable, part of the certification course. Scott's feedback on my practical sessions has been very constructive, no matter my shortcomings, and extremely helpful to help me deal with the nitty-gritty of working with clients, which is never easy. Our sessions together have also been wonderfully productive, and have provided me with answers to some of my queries on dreamwork and working with dreamers, as well as providing me with invaluable insight into my own dreams. My sincere thanks to Scott for putting up with my exceptional personal circumstances and fret while doing the course and practicum, and for doing so with grace, patience and understanding.

My dream world is an intrinsic part of who I am, so dreamwork has been part of my life for years because, honestly, it makes a difference for good. I consider having a dreamwork session as important as having a physiotherapy session, visiting my GP, having a chat with friends over a meal, or going to an empty temple to pray when necessary. It's a pity that our modern world has forgotten the joys and magic of dream sharing at home and with others on a daily basis, in the same way that we share our workday or holiday's adventures. That's why dreamwork is so important to me. 

I cannot wait to put the FiveStar Method into practice with dreamers out there and be the ambassador that the method and the creator deserve.  

María-Teresa de Castro Martínez PhD (aka Teresa de Castro Ph.D.)


Last modified: Saturday, 29 December 2018, 2:23 PM