Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dreams and Phobias

Photo by Rick Hustead

An individual works through events and conflicts that he or she experienced earlier in the day by venting them out in early-morning venting dreams, Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., explained. A dream recurs if the subconscious mind does not resolve the issue/content through this process. Furthermore, a recurring dream can cause a phobic reaction if its content induces anxiety. When this occurs, the individual may subconsciously resist sleeping or if the person only sleeps very lightly to avoid having the dream again. Paradoxically, avoiding sleep also reduces the possibility of venting the original issue that keeps showing up in the disturbing dream. 

In addition, a person may incorporate stimuli that he or she experiences during sleep—such as the sound of a barking dog or a slamming door—into the content of a dream. Low blood-sugar levels are associated with the development of phobias, so it is also reasonable to conclude that someone whose blood-sugar level drops during sleep may develop a phobia about a recurring dream. In this case, the person’s nutrition must be addressed to ameliorate the phobic response in addition to helping the person resolve the issue(s) presented during the dream.

You’ll still have to solve the dream and the subconscious motives and fears that aren’t being expressed consciously, Dr. Kappas said. “[Dreams] send signals when something is wrong. These signals must be taken into consideration. Even though the signal (dream) is fantasy, the event that precipitated it is real.”

During this process, the hypnotherapist should provide plenty of suggestions to help the person vent the original fear in addition to desensitizing the client to specific content of the recurring dream. “It might frighten you a bit, but that’s okay because it’s the last time you will ever dream it. You will feel the dream fading and disappearing,” Dr. Kappas advised.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy®, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
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