The Time Between Dreams

Book Review by Lourdes Rivera

Book Review---
The Time Between Dreams: How to Navigate Uncertainty in Your Life and Work, by Carol Vecchio. 2013. Imagine a World Publishing. Seattle, WA. 162 pages.


The Time Between Dreams: How to Navigate Uncertainty in Your Life and Work, is a welcomed and refreshing framework for to how to negotiate change in our lives and the challenges we face in today’s work and career landscape. The author's engaging and conversational style invites readers to open up to their inner voice, find the courage to identify their dreams and take action in their personal and professional lives. Using the metaphor of the changing seasons, the book invites us to look at our lives and the challenges of the transitions we face with optimism, faith in ourselves, and confidence that we can bring to fruition the difference that we want in our lives. Replete with inspiring quotes, personal stories, and activities designed to engage the reader in the process of self-exploration, The Time Between Dreams is a wonderful resource for anyone seeking to create a more meaningful and satisfying life.

The title of the book refers to the times when we move between significant periods or transitions in our lives. In these moments of contemplation, we question, “what’s next for me.” We evaluate what we have accomplished and imagine what will come next in our lives. This book encourages us to use the “time between dreams” to reconnect with our dreams and aspirations in order to inform our choices. The author, Carol Vecchio, is a career counselor in private practice. Ms. Vecchio has been providing career counseling services and assisting clients with life transitions for over 20 years. She is the founder of the Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal in Seattle, WA. She has presented her work nationally and internationally, most recently at the International Conference for Life Design in Padova, Italy.

Review from a Counselor's Perspective

One of the major challenges that I face as a counselor and counselor educator is helping individuals grasp the interconnectedness of career counseling and personal counseling. My goal is to assist them in recognizing that what one does with one's work life is integrally connected to who one is or aspires to become. This is a challenging goal because, after all, in the minds of many, career counseling is about getting answers to the question, “what type of work should I DO” not “who am I and how can I live a meaningful and satisfied life.” This book does a lovely job of integrating career and personal counseling in the service of creating a meaningful life and does so in a thoughtful, engaging, and inspiring manner. Professional counselors working with clients around life transitions will find this a useful tool in helping their clients make the connections between their dreams and their reality.

Through her warm and engaging narrative, Ms. Vecchio invites us to engage in a paradigm shift in how we view life, work, and all the associated challenges. She encourages us to let go of the messages of success which bombard us every day and instead, focus inward to identify what would be success for each one of us as unique and creative individuals; to find the strength to break with the status quo and create the change and life that we want. Confronted with this paradigm shift, the individual faces a scary and daunting proposition, but one which the author makes an eloquent point of stating is the only way to find our happiness or effectively face change and uncertainty in our personal and work lives.

Ms Vecchio's use of the metaphor of the changing seasons to understand the cycles of our changing lives provides a useful and accessible framework from which to think of the change process: life, like the seasons, is about change, which is ongoing. We adapt, and then we prepare for the next season of our lives. Change is natural and is inevitable - how we face change is up to us.

As the book walks us through each of the seasons of change detailing all the challenges and rewards, we find examples and recommendations for how to work through each, recognizing the value and significance of the cycle in contributing to a full and balanced life. She invites us not to fight or resist these transitions, but to embrace them and recognize how we can effectively resolve our transitions in order to face the future with hope and optimism, trusting that in our inner core, we have the answers to the dilemmas we face in life --provided we take the time to listen to ourselves. And in this, Ms. Vecchio is most persuasive, we must stop, slow down, and listen to ourselves for we are the only one’s who can uncover the answers that we seek.

Throughout the book, Ms. Vecchio provides a wealth of inspiring quotes and personal stories from her own life and that of her clients to highlight key points and themes. Of particular interest to many will be the activities she invites the reader to engage in to assist them in the process of self-exploration and understanding. The chapter titled “Where are You?” will be of particular interest to those seeking to identify where they are in the cycle of change within their work and personal lives.

Career Development Practitioners Helping with Transition

The Time Between Dreams is an informative “how to guide” and inspiring resource for managing career and life transitions. In her warm and enthusiastic style, coupled with a sense of humor, Ms. Vecchio invites the reader on a journey of self-exploration and discovery of what could be. Though written for the general public, it is a valuable resource for career development practitioners interested in helping individuals understand and negotiate change and transition in their personal and/or career life.



Lourdes RiveraLourdes M. Rivera, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Counselor Education Program at Queens College of the City University of New York. Prior to becoming a counselor educator, Dr. Rivera was a counselor in a college setting, providing career, academic and personal counseling to a diverse student population; she also has experience providing mental health services in hospitals and community counseling settings. Dr. Rivera has served in a number of leadership positions in professional organizations and is a past-president of the New York State Career Development Association. She has been a long-standing member of NCDA and completed the NCDA Leadership Academy in 2009. She currently serves on the NCDA Board of Trustees. Dr. Rivera received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University and holds a Master’s in counseling from New York University. She can be reached at lourdes.rivera@qc.cuny.edu