Researching the Muscle Dream experience through a series of invitations : Dialogues, connections and change
“What dreams may come on this mortal coil?” This question poised by Shakespeare’s Hamlet kept coming to mind for James whilst he completed his doctorate research project that looked at the ways in which bereaved couples storied their experiences of parenting a child with muscular dystrophy. What seemed imperative to this exploration, and James’ evolving understanding of the accounts of these parents, was this notion of dreams and perhaps more importantly, the question of how accessible these are to all who dare to dream. In writing this paper, we hope to invite the reader to consider the role of dreams not only within their clinical practice, but within their own personal contexts. Through inviting dreams, this paper perhaps demonstrates the ways in which we can create spaces to not only talk about dreams, but to move towards making the living of those dreams possible for individuals, families and communities. This exploration took place in the context of parents whose children had been enabled to experience what the charitable organisation the Muscle Help Foundation describe as ‘Muscle Dream’ events. As such, we will first detail what muscular dystrophy is, along with the familial experience of living with muscular dystrophy. Secondly, we explore the Muscle Dream experience and what it means to invite dreams. And finally, we will describe some of the research findings that relate to an invitation to memories.