Dreams and the Dream Image: Using Dreams in Cognitive Therapy

Freeman, Arthur; White, Beverly
March 2002
Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy;Spring2002, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p39
Academic Journal
Dreams have been part of the human experience throughout recorded history and a central focus in psychodynamic therapy. This paper deals with the use of dreams and images in the context of cognitive-behavioral therapy. The therapist trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy is frequently not trained or prepared to work with dreams and may lose valuable opportunities to tap the richness of imagery offered in dreams. The cognitive model sees the dreamer as idiosyncratic and the dream as a dramatization of the patient's view of self, world, and future, subject to the same cognitive distorations as the waking state. Dreams and the understanding of the dreams of the dream content and themes offer an opportunity for the patient to understand his or her cognitions as played out on the stag of the imagination and to challenge or dispute those depressogenic or anxiogenic thoughts, with a resultant positive affect sift.


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