Nightmares in crisis: clinical applications of lucid dreaming techniques

Psychiatr J Univ Ott. 1990 Jun;15(2):79-84.


A patient in crisis was offered treatment with a major focus on alleviating nightmares using lucid dreaming (dreaming while knowing that one is dreaming). Of sixty-eight non-psychotic patients seen consecutively in a psychiatry emergency room, she was one of 16 (23.5%) found to have a concurrent complaint of nightmares (dream anxiety disorder). The benefits of the skills developed with lucid dreaming extended into areas other than nightmares as the patient entered psychotherapy. The techniques appeared to play a role in the reduction of nightmare frequency, intensity, and distress, and to enhance ego growth and personal development. Further research in lucid dreaming as an adjunctive treatment for patients with nightmares and as a useful technique in psychotherapy is suggested.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Crisis Intervention*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Dreams*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall
  • Personality Tests*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*