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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stopping the Nightmare: An Analysis of Focusing Oriented Dream Imagery Therapy For Trauma Survivors with Repetitive Nightmares
by Ellis, Leslie Anne, Ph.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2015, 269; 3670632
Abstract (Summary)

This study has two parts: first, the development and execution of an abbreviated focusing-oriented dreamwork (FOD) treatment protocol for those with replicative PTSD nightmares, and second, an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the experience of refugees who participated in the treatment. Participants included five clients from the Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture (VAST) who experienced clinically significant PTSD symptoms, including repetitive trauma-related nightmares. As a result of their participation in the FOD treatment, most experienced clinically significant reductions in PTSD symptoms, and their dreams began to change in specific ways, including a shift in the nature of the aggressor, dream ego actions, temporal and setting changes, and reduced fear responses within and after their nightmares. The fear responses in the dream content appear to relate directly to the physiological fight, flight or freeze responses the body initiates in response to threat. For those who are good candidates for the intervention, the FOD protocol appears to break the cycle of fear response and move the dreamer toward more empowered responses within dreaming and upon waking, and positively affect daytime functioning.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ellis, Erica
Commitee: Grindler Katonah, Doralee, Kuiken, Donald
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Somatic Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Experimental psychology
Keywords: Dreams, Focusing, Nightmares, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Psychotherapy
Publication Number: 3670632
ISBN: 978-1-321-47532-6
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