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Dreaming is a multidisciplinary journal, the only professional journal devoted specifically to dreaming. The journal publishes scholarly articles related to dreaming from any discipline and viewpoint. This includes biological aspects of dreaming and sleep

Last Build Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2016 17:00:08 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Psychological Association

Qualitative changes in recurrent PTSD nightmares after focusing-oriented dreamwork.


Although there has been considerable quantitative research to support the use of dreamwork methods that use imagery to treat PTSD-related nightmares, there has been limited study into the mechanism of action of these methods. This qualitative study examined the nature of changes in dreams following the reimagining of a new ending to recurrent nightmares, resulting in a theory about why clients might experience symptom relief from the process. This study included the development and use of an abbreviated focusing-oriented dreamwork (FOD) treatment protocol for trauma survivors with repetitive PTSD nightmares and an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the dream changes that resulted from treatment. Participants were 5 clients from the Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture (VAST) who experienced clinically significant PTSD symptoms, including repetitive trauma-related nightmares. After FOD treatment, participants’ dreams began to change in specific ways. The identity of the dream aggressor shifted from known to unknown or vice versa, and generally away from replication of the original trauma. Dream ego actions moved forward on a continuum from freeze to flight to fight as dreamers began to find their voices, seek help and/or take action. Temporal and setting changes generally shifted from being frozen in the time and/or place of the trauma to include more elements from current life. The FOD protocol appeared to move dreamers toward more empowered, less fearful responses within dreaming and upon waking, and to have a positive effect on daytime functioning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Dreams of hearing-impaired, compared with hearing, individuals are more sensory and emotional.


An early report suggested that the sensory content of dreams differed between those who are and are not hearing impaired; more recent studies have indicated there are no differences. We surveyed 86 students attending a special needs school for the deaf regarding sensory content of their dreams, and compared the results with those of 344 hearing students attending an ordinary high school. Participants were given a 25-item questionnaire regarding remembered dreams of the preceding month that measured dream recall frequency, vividness of dreams, and the frequency of experience of 9 sensory modalities and 10 emotions. The results indicated that by controlling for dream recall frequency, the hearing-impaired participants experienced nightmares, lucid dreams, taste, smell, pain, temperature, hope, anger, fear, tense feelings, surprise, and shame more often and hearing less often than the hearing participants. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Content analysis of Chinese dreams—Pleasure or pain?


Unlike dream reports around the world, Chinese people’s dreams seem to display more pleasant affect and content. In view of this cultural disparity, the present study examined whether the predominance of unpleasant dream content revealed by Western studies using the Dream Threat Scale and the Hall and Van de Castle (1966) coding system could be replicated in a sample of dreams reported by Chinese people. The sample consisted of 252 most recently recalled dreams and 228 diary dreams collected from 286 Chinese participants over 3 consecutive nights. The employment of the Hall and Van de Castle system in dream coding was supplemented with the Good Fortune Scale and a neuroscientific-based classification of emotions to equalize the numbers of positive and negative coding categories. The analysis confirmed the results of previous similar research in other countries of a negativity bias in dreaming but did not lend support to the theory of threat simulation as a primary function of dreaming. The inherent limitations of content analysis were discussed in light of the present findings and the Chinese personality characteristics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Dream contents of early adolescents, adolescents, and young adults: A cluster analysis with T-LAB.


A text analysis of dreams and waking-life narratives let us detect typical dream contents. The sample is composed of 1,000 subjects, from early adolescents to young adults, including males and females. For each subject, we collected a dream and a waking-life episode according to “the most recent dream” (Hartmann, Elkin, & Garg, 1991) and “a recent episode” methodology (Maggiolini, Cagnin, Crippa, Persico, & Rizzi, 2010). Through a word analysis, we were able to identify the typical narratives of dreams and episodes. We identified 5 clusters of dreams: dreams of (a) fear and escape, (b) school, (c) competition and sport, (d) attack, and (e) falling and spatial disorientation. Instead, regarding episodes, T-LAB identified 5 clusters: episodes of (a) fun with friends, (b) competition and success, (c) significant emotions, (d) family relationships, and (e) accidents and diseases. This research shows a way of empirically finding typical dreams, without starting from an arbitrary list. Typical dreams are not only a description of similar contents in different dreams, but those contents that are typical of dreams compared with waking narratives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Posttraumatic nightmares and imagery rehearsal: The possible role of lucid dreaming.


Lucid dreaming (LD) is a distinct behavioral state characterized by an awareness of dreaming while a dream occurs and, at times, an ability to, during dreaming, control dream events and/or purposefully awaken from a dream. LD and its potential role as a mechanism of action of Imagery Rehearsal therapy (IR) were investigated in military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and recurrent nightmares. This study reports on the nature of LD constructs in 33 treatment-seeking Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans participating in a larger clinical trial of 6 sessions of 1 of 2 therapies: components of Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (cCBT-I) or IR + cCBT-I. Participants completed questionnaires regarding sleep and nightmares, other PTSD symptoms, and LD before and after treatment. Before treatment, veterans demonstrated a LD profile characterized by high dream awareness and low dream content control. After IR + cCBT-I treatment, control of dream content, but not lucid awareness, increased more than after cCBT-I treatment (ES = .68). This increase in dream content control was related to a reduction in nightmare distress. An increase in 1 component of LD, namely control of dream content, appears to contribute to therapeutic change with IR for recurrent posttraumatic nightmares. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine and the interpretation of typical dreams two millennia ago.


Dream content is perhaps not as elusive as it appears to be. Contemporary research shows that there are typical dream themes that are shared by people from different cultures, across different time periods. Indeed, Sigmund Freud has already observed and interpreted these dream themes more than a century ago. If typical dream themes cross both cultural and time boundaries such that people in the 21st century dream the same themes as did people in the 20th and 19th centuries, can they be traced even further back in time to ancient China—namely, before Christ? This implies that typical dream themes pass down from generations to generations without being eliminated despite the dramatic evolution of humanity. The Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine (Huang-di Nei-jing; 黃帝內經) was written between the late Warring States period (475–221 BC) and the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) when Chinese philosophy began and many time-honored schools of thought blossomed. Huang-di Nei-jing is the first and also the most important text throughout the history of Chinese medicine; it is still a must-read for Chinese medical practitioners nowadays. This article reviews how the narrative content of dreams is interpreted in ancient China and compares the dream themes illustrated in Huang-di Nei-jing with those typical dream themes enumerated by Freud and contemporary researchers. A 3-tier model of dream expression is put forward in light of the theoretical implications of Huang-di Nei-jing for understanding the formation of dream content. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)