'"Social Dreaming" is the name given to a method of working with dreams that are shared and associated to within a gathering of people, coming together for this purpose. Its immediate origins date back to the early 1980s. At that time, Gordon Lawrence was on the scientific staff of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. He was a core member of the Institute's Group Relations Program, within which he had developed a distinctive approach centering around the concept of "relatedness" - that is, the ways in which individual experience and behavior reflects and is structured by conscious and unconscious constructs of the group or organization in the mind...'What Lawrence has discovered or rediscovered in the social dreaming matrix is another context of contexts for dreaming, in which the emotional experience on which our capacity for dreaming, for entertaining dream thoughts, works is not that of the pair but that of the many: group, society, tribe, collective, race, species. Within this or these contracts, the meanings of the dream and dreaming spread out to capture and formulate echoes-of-the-thoughts-that-are-there, in the space between the "many-in-mind".'- David Armstrong, from his Introduction
Gordon Lawrence was a managing partner of Social Dreaming Ltd, London, and a visiting professor at the University of Northumberland, Newcastle, the New Bulgarian University, Sofia, and at La Sapienza, the University of Rome. Formerly, he held a visiting professorship at Cranfield University, Bedford. He was on the editorial board of Free Associations (UK), Freie Assoziation (Germany) and Organizational and Social Dynamics (UK). He was a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Socio-Analysis and a Distinguished Member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations.