Encountering the Monster provides an intimate look at the imaginal life of young children as it unfolds in series of dreams. The fruit of a ten-year-long project that began with learning how the Malaysian Senoi teach their children the art of dreaming, the book, and the research behind it, tries to answer the question, How do children who are not taught this art encounter monsters in their dreams?

        Like heroes of myths and fairy tales, children dream of going to a mountain, a forest, or the sea and there meeting a monster. Or else the child is called to an adventure by a monster intruding upon the family home. In the encounter with the monster, the child's first impulse is often to retreat, but eventually the child takes up the adventure, dealing with the monster by the strategies of combat, taming, or being engulfed.

        Encountering the Monster stands as a unique work in a much neglected field. The centerpiece of the book is a careful discussion of three series of dreams, amplified by means of the works of Carl Jung, Erich Neuman, Mircea Eliade, Marie-Louise von Franz, and others. The author provides convincing evidence of the variety of strategies children spontaneously use to cope with the monsters in their dreams and offers fresh insight into the meaning of such encounters. Her discovery of recurrent themes, developmental patterns, and even gender differences in the dream life of children has important implications for a better understanding of child development. But the greatest value of the work is the methods it develops for understanding and interpreting children's dreams that are easily adapted to the interests of parents, teachers, and counselors.                             


“Denyse Beaudet has an excellent understanding of dream theory (especially Jung’s) and of approaches to dream interpretation and amplification. Her own research on children’s dreams is original and significant. Her discovery of recurrent themes, developmental patterns, and gender differences makes for fascinating reasing. The centerpiece of the book, a careful discussion of three series of dreams, is provocative and persuasive.”

                            -- Christine Downing, author of Psyche’s Sisters

        and Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love


“I recently read your book, Encountering the Monster, and I enjoyed it very much. I do dream research at the University of Chicago, focusing  on the religious and psychological dimensions of dreams, and I have a special interest in teaching school children about their dreams. Your book is one of the best works I’ve seen on this subject, and I just wanted to tell you how valuable I think it will be in my future research.”

                      --Kelly  Bulkeley, Ph.D., author of American Dreamers        

                         and Dreaming in the World Religions

The Dreams of Children

Denyse Beaudet, Ph.D.

Dreamguider ~




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Encountering ~




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