Cloth Dreams: Experiencing the Story, Storying the Experience


Cloth Dreams – A memoir…of sorts

Cloth Dreams is a book about the author. As a psychotherapist she has listened to the life stories of many hundreds of people and is now paying attention to her own. She is an artist, and uses her work to describe her life experiences and to anchor her narrative.

Her early childhood from a poor, single parent family and as a first generation Australian, begins the journey. Through adulthood as wife, mother, successful therapist, academic and author, Helena portrays how she has confronted the challenges of an existential life by overcoming her archrival. Carefully she has outwitted and persistently managed to liberate and emancipate herself from its clenching grasp. She walks a tightrope however, and it returns at a time of significance in her life threatening to disturb her final chance of success and happiness.

Helena falls in love with her soulmate only to meet her nemesis once again. The major turning point in the story, where she and her rival are both faced with unspeakable loss, leads to an almost insurmountable dilemma.

For those readers interested in a redemptive story of a woman’s life this book will leave you pondering the answers to life’s challenges spellbound… love, loss, betrayal, madness, accomplishment and success …

Through its peculiar twists, poignant troughs and pinnacles of fulfilment and triumph the author takes the reader on a journey that is sometimes surreal in its illusion but strikingly real in its content.

The author makes no apologies for her irreverent use of Carl Jung’s shadow and Freud’s hallmark psychoanalytic personality indicators – the Id, super ego and ego – to portray her experience of life.

She removes any doubt about how the villains and heroes of her irrational universe impact on the story she tells through the lens of creative non fiction. Weaving complex psychodynamic theories through the narrative prose she might leave lovers of psychology and counselling educated, enlightened and reflecting on their own life and with a curious interest in, and understanding of the lives of the people with whom they work.

The concepts of Freud’s unconscious and Jung’s archetypal symbology enlighten and inform the reader about ideas that came before the postmodern wave of socially constructed identity and life. And yet at the same time Cloth Dreams manages to portray a life dominated by post-modern constructs of identity formation that emphasise narrative and the storied nature of human conduct.

If there is one thing that the reader gains from immersing themselves in this book it is the authors commitment and belief that love…and art… can change lives.