Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Health Dreams

If clinicians use dream journalling as part of a therapy program for both physical and mental illness, what would be some of the key features that are required for a) patient insight, b) treatment direction and c) prognosis of illness?


  1. patient and clinician should both believe in the process. the dream journal should be used consistently and looked back upon (for reoccurring dreams or dreams with similar themes). if any sort of theme or re-occurrence is found, exploring the content of these dreams in very important (whether that means further interpretation, medical tests to be run, referrals.. etc) Even if dreams are not reoccurring, looking into any vivid, emotionally charged or particularly disturbing or intriguing dream is important to gain insight about waking day and our health. It is important to keep in mind that some dreams are direct in nature, looking for abstract insight may actually lead you in the wrong direction. Don't over look things that may seem too obvious. After the dreams in the journal are carefully considered and interpreted, the clinician and patient may find a new path(s) for treatment. If dreams are recorded upon wakening and carefully considered and interpreted, illnesses can often be caught early and thus, in many cases, have a better outcome (prognosis).

  2. In order for the patient to gain insight it would be best if they kept a dream journal for their dreams. If they are written down it is easier to go and find them in the journal then try and remember them all. Also by writing down the dreams the patient can look for patterns. For example to have a dying or illness dream doesn't automatically mean you are dying, you need to look at the frequency of a particular dream. It would also be wise to use dream interpretation to get a better insight from your dreams.

    Dreams can help with diagnosis and treatment because your dreams can pinpoint the location of the illness and your dreams helps you problem solve in the night issues that are happening in your waking life.

    As for prognosis dreams can help detect illnesses better and faster so early discovery can help lead to the treatment needed to recover.

  3. In order to guide diagnosis and treatment of an individual with say heart disease or cancer or other health issues, or psychological disorders suchh as depression, certain elements in the dreams would need to be looked for. For example depressed patients may have less characters compared to the norm and individuals with gastrointestinal problems they may have dreams about pipes, toilets, rotting food etc.

    These dreams are useful in telling the dreamer where in their body something may be wrong, and how serious it may be. One diagnosis is established then dreams can help predict the course of the health issue and whether or not treatment is working. This relates to Garfield's 7 steps of healing found in dreams where the dreams reflect whether or not the patient is recovering or not.

  4. Using a Dream journal would be very useful for patient insight. This is because the patient could look over their previous dreams and decide if there are any changes happening, or if anything stands out to them. By keeping a dream journal the patient won’t have to rely on their memory, which is good because they may not be able to remember things clearly, if at all. From these dream journals, the patient could also perform various types of dream interpretation (i.e. TSM, 2A, etc.) as an attempt to gain insight.

    Through the use of dream journals, a patient could be able to detect if something may be wrong with them, and they may even be able to identify the type and location of their illness.

    Consequently, dreams are a relatively fast and effective way of gaining discovery. They are also a great way to detect an illness early on so that treatment can begin, and the patient will hopefully be able to have a successful outcome.

  5. Some of the key features of dream journaling that would be required for patient insight, treatment and direction and prognosis of illness would be to write down each dream in as much detail as possible. The dreamer should write down every dream that they have every night in order to see if there are any trends or things that have carried through every night. The dreamer should pay attention to the location and the severity of the illness in their dreams in order to know what part of their waking day body they should get checked out. Things that seem too obvious or too trivial should not be ignored in the dreams; things should be taken at face value and pay attention to recurring themes.

  6. If clinicians used dream journaling as part of a therapy program for both physical and mental illness the key features for patient insight would be if the dreams are reoccurring (perhaps even prodormal) and if they invoke emotions (negative) and contain similar vivid imagery (nightmarish). If the content within the dreams is similar and pertains to our current knowledge of the population norm (content analysis: dream illness imagery present in other people) than correlations can be made and we can predict/look into/run tests of the illness that the dreams seems to be symbolizing. The patients health should parallel their dreams and if the dreams are predictive than certain tests should be done to confirm if the onsets of the illness (as indicated by dream content) are likely. The key features to decide the prognosis and the subsequent treatment direction of a patients insight should include whether a patients dream journal does have similar recurrent negative dream imagery (highlighting the location and metaphorically symbolizing the possible disease) that corresponds to their current health issues and those that have been documented (content analysis). Different dream interpretation techniques (TSM/2A/Meditative Dream re-entry) can also be done to confirm the prognosis.

  7. I think that in terms of helping the patient find insight and treatment it would be helpful if they were consistently updating and keeping track of the dream journal.I think looking for repetition in negative imagery and content would particularly stand out and would be beneficial for prognosis.

  8. I think that the clinician would have to stress the importance of using the dream journal consistently and recording dreams immediately upon waking. This is because upon waking, you will probably remember it in more detail, while throughout the day the dream will fade from memory. I also believe that the dreamer would want to look for content words that are appearing across the dream as well as recurring themes/characters/locations/feelings etc. The patient also has to use techniques such as remembering to remember, meditating, and reviewing the journal often to help them remember their dreams better. I would also stress the idea that only the dreamer can interpret their own dreams and they should not interpret others and others shouldn't interpret theirs.

    As for treatment direction and prognosis, I think that would depend on the individual and their physical or mental illness. For instance, there are four interpretation methods that we learned about in class,as well as content analysis. Again, choosing a method of dream interpretation or content analysis would depend on the individual. I would also tell the dreamer to not over-look nor under-look the dream imagery. Sometimes if you look too far into the imagery you will miss obvious things related to your life and if you don't look deep enough then again you will over-look something that could be important to your health and well-being. Paying attention to the location of the recurring images/negative imagery could help pin-point where the illness may be located.

  9. Firstly, patients need to be consistent with dream journaling and be sure to include the dates the dreams occurred on. For patients to gain insight, it would be most helpful to complete all the of dream interpretation methods we studied in this course (with the exclusion of the certain methods individuals with certain mental illness cannot partake in). The combination may help the patient better understand different aspects of their life and illness, and by better understanding their dreams and waking life, they can increase their well-being. To do this, patients need to be reflective to find connections between their waking life and dreams. Individuals themselves know the issues that have been on their mind and by studying their own dream journal they can decipher normal dream imagery from abnormal dream imagery, as they are the experts on their own lives. By studying their dreams, they may also be able to discover the leading or contributing causes of their poor mental or physical health, and what possible changes need to take place.
    By studying dreams, patients can seek help for problems, and can further discover what they believe would be the best treatment options for them. For some people this may include extensive treatment, for others it may just be natural treatment they feel the most comfortable with. Listening to doctors is of course important, but listening to yourself is just as important in making treatment options or changes in your life. By dream journaling, patients can become more active and involved in the treatment direction process, and this may even allow them to feel more in control of their body and illness.
    As we have learned through this course, dreams have good predictive validity of recovery and death. Since certain imagery is more common of illness and dying, dream journaling could allow individuals to be more aware of the realities of their illness and be more prepared for when treatment is not working. On the lighter side, dream journaling and therapy has been found to be related to discovery, and different methods like MDR for example which focuses on relaxation, is very helpful in de-stressing individuals, and specifically in increasing immune functioning and decreasing cortisol release. This in itself not only may help in preventing illness, but also in the treatment and prognosis of an illness. As for individuals with mental illness, dream journaling could be very beneficial in determining an upcoming episode (for example a major depressive episode), or determining when the illness is increasing in severity and intensity. This could better allow individuals to seek help when they are most at-risk. Overall, it appears that dream journaling and therapy could be highly beneficial for individuals suffering from physical or mental illness, not only in the diagnosis process, but also in the treatment and prognosis of the illness.

  10. Key features that would be required for patient insight would include:
    - The necessity that the patient need to keep up with dream journalling and recording of their dreams to see the journey that their dream takes them on. It would be important for the patient to completely see their insight and discoveries through their journalling and recordings of their dreams. Keeping up with dates of their dreams, and practice of mediation would be important for the discovery of patient dreams.
    Key features that would be required for treatment direction would include:
    - Keeping track of dreams would be a good start for the treatment direction. As noted in lectures, it is possible to know about an illness through dream interpretation before actually being diagnosed with the illness. This would require discoveries made through dream interpretation, and through that dream interpretation, a dreamer might be able to discover which type of treatment would be best for them, with the help of their physician
    Key features would prognosis of illness would include:
    - Dream interpretations that determine prognosis, such as 2A Method and MDR … being able to assess the emotions of the dream more clearly, and turning a negative experience into a positive outcome. Both this techniques can be done to confirm a prognosis! :)

  11. For patient insight to occur you should be making sure that the patient finds a method that works for them well and they are comfortable with. It is important to start with more basic forms of interpretation and gradually progress. Treatment direction could be suggested by dreams the person may be having. Insights from interpretation as well as recurring dreams may show deep rooted psychological issues, heads-up dreams may suggest treatment of physical health issues. These dreams may suggest which route to take for treatment. Prognosis of illness may also be shown through dreams that the patient has. Dream interpretation and insight is a form of therapy and may help with the prognosis of a health issue by boosting immune response as well.

  12. In order for dream therapy to render useful, the patient must increase their chances of gaining insight from their dreams by frequently using a dream journal to record their dreams each morning. This will help them to remember their dreams more often and more vividly. Once dreams are being more commonly remembered, the therapist should encourage use of a beginner’s method of dream interpretation, such as the STM. This will enhance their attempts at gaining insight and moving the patient towards a positive direction in therapy where they can make waking day connections form their dream content. Furthermore, a patient must be open to making insights and connections from their dreams and relating similar emotions and feelings to determine accurate prognosis of their illness. Keeping a dream journal, making connections and realization of feelings all provide benefits within dream therapy sessions.

  13. I feel that for a patient to gain insights with their dreams using their journals is that they must keep up the recording on their dreams including the dates. By doing this, the dreamer will be able to remember their dreams more vividly possibly due to their awareness of dreaming. Then they should begins with something simple like TSM. I feel that beliefs has a big factor into gaining insights is believing that dreams help mental illness and gain insights.

    Once the patient can move on the more complicated dreams and gain more insights and meaning, I would fee that they have made progress. I feel that depending on their illness and dreams, it would affect the direction of the therapy. For example for vivid dreams, you would want to use MDR.

    Prognosis of the illness will be shown through the dreams of the patient. And I agree with Victoria that, by being able to asses their own emotions through STM or 2A means that the patient is going toward a positive prognosis direction.

  14. For patient insight, dreams should be recorded in the dream journal upon waking. Keep an eye out for patterns of similar dream imagery and themes across dreams, and any reoccurring dreams. When first trying to get insight through dream interpretation, use an easy to learn method like TSM. After TSM has been mastered, patients can then apply different more advanced dream interpretation methods for different levels on insight on their dreams.

    For treatment direction, look for dream imagery that focuses on a body part, and something happening to it. This can be an indication from your body that something is happening in that location, and thus, investigation and treatment of this area should be considered. The advantage of using dreams to determine treatment direction is that usually if a problem is evident in the area depicted in the dream, the illness is in a early stage that can be easily treatable. Thus, using dreams can lead to a better prognosis of illness, while ignoring dreams only adds to the possibility of a prognosis negative.