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Case Study: Disturbed Sleep and Recurring Dreams

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Posted: 10 September 2016
Gender: Male
Age: 70 - 75
Presenting problem: Disturbed sleep caused by Recurring Dreams
Treatment modality: Hypnotherapy
Number of sessions: 2

The client had been suffering from disturbing, recurring dreams for a couple of years, and his days had begun to be dominated by them: he would dread going to bed and would wake in the morning feeling tired and unrefreshed. Often, he went back to bed later in the morning. Although the recurring dreams would occasionally vary in their content, the theme was always the same: trying to get to an unknown destination and never reaching it.

In the dreams, the client would find himself using any number of transport means which would ultimately fail: getting on a bus only to discover it was the wrong one; driving a car but suddenly not recognising the roads and realising he was lost; accepting a lift from friends only to find out they were going somewhere else.

Although on individual merit these nightly imaginings held no direct fear or terror, the client felt plagued by their regularity and exhausted by each unresolved quest. Because he never understood where he was trying to get to, he felt at a loss as to how to resolve the dreams.

Discussion revealed that the client had retired two years previously. He was very happy in his retirement but held a deep sense of guilt over how his career had ended. A year prior to retiring, the client had suffered a physical injury which meant an extended period of absence from his workplace, before being retired on medical grounds. During this time, he had received full pay. A conscientious, loyal man, not only did he feel he had let his colleagues down by not being there, but also that he had not deserved to be paid for work not done because of his forced absence.

The first session of hypnotherapy targeted the guilt the client carried, allowing him to let it go. The second worked specifically to promote restful sleep, guiding his subconscious mind to successfully resolve any ‘unfinished business’ through his dreams or else leave any worries aside until the morning. The client was also taught self-hypnosis to assist in feeling relaxed and ready for a night of restful sleep.

Since having hypnotherapy the client no longer experiences the old, recurring dreams, or dreads going to bed. Instead, he now enjoys the sleep he wants and needs, and wakes up in the morning feeling refreshed and looking forward to whatever the new day will bring.
Written by: Benefit Therapy
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