The role of cognitions in imagery rescripting for posttraumatic nightmares

J Clin Psychol. 2011 Oct;67(10):1008-16. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20804. Epub 2011 Apr 18.


Despite growing support for the use of imagery rescripting to treat posttraumatic nightmares (PTNMs), its underlying mechanisms have not been examined. This secondary data analysis piloted the proposal that modification of posttraumatic cognitions is a mechanism of change when using a manualized PTNM imagery rescripting intervention. Significant linear reductions in posttraumatic cognitions were observed from baseline through 6-month follow-up evaluations. Change in total negative cognitions was significantly correlated with change in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Initial amount of change in subscale scores also predicted the amount of distal change observed at the 6-month follow-up. These findings provide preliminary evidence that trauma-related cognitions may improve over time as a result of imagery rescripting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Night Terrors / therapy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires