The Combined IDL Interviewing Protocol

Combined Dream and Life Issue 

IDL Interviewing Protocols 

Joseph Dillard, LCSW., Ph.D. 


What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life? 




If a dream or a nightmare is the subject of the interview, continue as follows. If not, skip to the bold, below: 

Tell me a dream you remember. It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

Why do you think that you had this dream?

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself… 

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be? 

If a life issue is being interviewed instead of a dream, skip the above after naming three life issues and begin here:

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you? 

What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be? 

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness. 

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What? 

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say! 

(Character), would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing? 

(Character), what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they? 

(Character), what aspect of _____ do you represent or most closely personify? 

(Character), if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how? 

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.) 

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why? 

Confidence, 0-10. Why?

Empathy, 0-10. Why?

Wisdom, 0-10. Why?

Acceptance, 0-10. Why?

Inner Peace, 0-10. Why?

Witnessing, 0-10. Why? 

(Character), if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how? 

(Character), how would _______’s life be different if he/she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time? 

(Character), if you could live _____’s life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

(Character),if you could live _____’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle ____’s three life issues differently? If so, how? 




(Character), what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of ______’s life? 




(Character), in what life situations would it be most beneficial for ____ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would? 

(Character), do you do drama? Do you get into playing the Victim, Persecutor, or Rescuer? If not, why not?

(Character), What is your secret for staying out of drama? 

(Character), you are imaginary. Why should ______ pay attention to anything you say? 

(Character), how is _______ most likely to ignore what you are saying to him/her? 

(Character), what would you recommend that he/she do about that? 

Thank you, (Character!) Now here are a couple of questions for _______:

If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think 

it would be saying to you? 

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made: 

Leave a Comment

For more information, contact While IDL does not accept advertising or sponsored postings, we gratefully accept donations of your time, expertise, or financial support.