June 2020 Newsletter

The Use of Dream Work in Modern Psychotherapy

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have been paying extra attention to their dreams. As various places around the world went into quarantine, an increasing number of people have reported experiencing bizarre and memorable dreams.

 

According to a recent dream survey conducted by an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, the incidence of vivid dreams has in fact increased as coronavirus spread around the world. Relatedly, within the past year alone, approximately 15% of cognitive behavioral therapy clients and 50% of psychoanalysis clients have discussed these and other dreams with their therapists.

 

Despite the recent surge of interest on the subject, dream work has been an important therapeutic approach for over a century. Since the 1900 publication of Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, there have emerged a variety of approaches and theoretical perspectives that therapists may take towards dream work.

 

Even the term “dream work” has a broad definition and can refer to events within therapy in which the focus is on dreams or to an entire approach to therapy, like Jungian therapy or imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT).

 

When conducting dream work with their clients, most cognitively oriented therapists report that they listen if clients bring in dreams, explore connections between dream images and waking life, ask for a description of the images, and collaborate with clients to construct interpretations of dreams.

 

Likewise, psychoanalytically oriented therapists also report engaging in these four activities, but also encourage clients to associate to dream images, work with conflicts represented in dreams, interpret dreams in terms of waking life and past experiences, invite clients to tell dreams, encourage clients to re-experience feelings in dreams and use dream images as metaphors later in therapy.

 

Regardless of the theoretical approach, therapists who explore dreams report that a majority of their clients benefit from dream work and their observations are now supported by empirical evidence. Recent research has found that dream work employed during therapy decreases symptoms of depression while increasing feelings of well-being, self-esteem and insight.

 

Dream work studies have also suggested which clients may benefit the most from a dream work approach. Results of these studies suggest that clients with positive attitudes towards dreams have the most positive outcomes, indicating that valuing dreams may be an important precondition for dream work.

 

The salience of a client’s dreams may also be an important predictor of dream work efficacy. Clients who profited most from dream work presented dreams that seemed potent or powerful to them. Additionally, clients who feel that working with dreams may help them accomplish their goals experience better outcomes of dream sessions than those who do not.

 

While the benefits of dream work seem promising, more empirical evidence is needed to compare the effectiveness of different dream models and determine whether certain models may be more effective with different types of clients.

If you’d like to learn about other psychiatric interventions for those with mental conditions, or to make a referral, please call 877-847-3984 or contact us via our contact form.

Health History: Believe it or Not!?

 

Over 100 years ago, cocaine was the world’s newest wonder drug— advertised as a cure for everything from morphine addiction to tuberculosis. Sigmund Freud was one of cocaine’s biggest supporters. Freud was known for administering cocaine to his friends and praising the drug’s therapeutic benefits in his first major scientific publication, “On Coca”. In the late 1800’s, cocaine was widely available in tonics, powders, wines and soft drinks before its mass consumption created a addiction crisis among its users. With news of addictions and overdose deaths spreading, Freud stopped advocating cocaine’s medical benefits, but continued to use the drug intermittently for migraines, nasal inflammation and depression until the turn of the century.

An Exclusive Q&A with Psychoanalyst, Gerard Sobnosky, LMFT:

 

Learn more about Gerard and psychoanalysis by visiting: https://GSTherapy.com

For additional questions or to make a referral, please contact Gerard Sobnosky—

p: (424) 337-0339

e:  Gerard@GSTherapy.com

Office: 2401 Pacific Coast Hwy, Ste 203

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Q: How would you describe the experience of analysis?

A: I work similarly whether I’m doing 1x/week therapy or 3-5x/week psychoanalysis, and once per week therapy can evolve into an analysis when that feels helpful or there’s a desire to deepen the work.  Many people find that analysis offers a reassuring sense of being “contained” or “held”, along with a space to become curious and reflective about deeper aspects of themselves and how it all fits together to explain why they act and feel as they do.  Over time it usually feels like the treatment is deepening as they gain greater insight and freedom over things that had been causing them suffering and holding them back.

Q: How does the psychoanalytic process serve your clients?

A: We tend to act out what we don’t yet understand about ourselves, including patterns of how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others.  Psychoanalysis can help us make sense of ourselves, making it easier for us to be in the world and to feel comfortable in our own skin.  Analysis can help not just to reduce a symptom or change a behavior, but to enable deeper change over time that allows us the freedom to live, love, work, and play more fully. 

Q: When and how should someone seek a psychoanalyst for treatment?

A: People seek psychoanalysis for all of the reasons they seek therapy, such as to reduce their suffering and to gain insight into their symptoms and themselves.  In addition, people may seek analysis when other treatments haven’t been successful, or as an alternative to an IOP or as a step between an IOP and 1x/week therapy.  Finally, therapists often seek analysis as a way to go deeper so they can help their clients go deeper, and to understand their own dynamics that may otherwise be acted out with clients.  

Where We’ve Been…

Our Telepsychiatry Services

We are pleased to offer our expert clinical care safely and directly to patients through scheduled, virtual appointments via our HIPAA compliant video-conferencing platform. For more information on telepsychiatry including accepted insurance providers, visit https://neurowellnessspa.com/telepsychiatry/

 

As We Remain Open for TMS Patients…

We are so grateful to our incredible clinical team for bringing some much-needed laughter, compassion and support to our transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) patients during this difficult time. We acknowledge that these past few weeks have been challenging for medical professionals around the world, and we are so thankful to our staff for staying committed to our patients who need mental health support now, more than ever. For more information on TMS as a safe, highly effective and drug-free therapy, visit https://neurowellnessspa.com/tms-therapy/

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