Technique of Creative Visualization for treatment of Nightmares in PTSD by Dr B B Katta

November 21,2014

I have been in psychiatric practice for number of years.I have seen number of PTSD cases. It is frustrating and challenging to treat them as traditional medications like Antipsychotics and Antidepressants were of limited use.CBT is of limited use in treating some symptoms. In some cases exposure to trauma may worsen the symptoms complicating the situation further.

One of the challenging problems to treat is the persistent nightmares and flashbacks and bad dreams in patients with PTSD. Over number of years I have used and refined technique of ‘CREATIVE VISUALIZATION’ to deal with these nightmares effectively.I am planning to share my expertise to help these patients all over the world.

Dreams consist of sum of Past events and future plans and Day’s residue.There is little you can do to influence the first two in short time. However changing days residue can have immediate impact on the dreams and night mares.

CREATIVE VISUALIZATION is the technique of deliberately changing  the contents of dreams by changing the the contents of  what you think  prior to sleeping .

DREAM / NIGHTMARE  analysis and Management  as follows

DREAM JOURNAL /Recording-It is important to keep track of quantity and quality of nightmares over period of few weeks.So keep the pen and a book handy next to bed to record your dreams and as many  details you remember and its impact on you.

DREAM ANALYSIS-Quantity and quality of dreams,Common themes,Control of the dream,sequence,Communication and content [ bizarre],Known vs unknown people [TEA-Thought,Emotions,Action]

DREAM PLANNING– Like a director in a movie your job is to create a play with sequence of beginning , body and the end and Main part of the dream is the middle part. You are in control of the whole play.

You can use ABC technique to organize the dream sequence like mini  movie clip.

A for antecedents before action

B for main part

C for consequences  after the dream

PRACTICE OF VISUALIZATION- Once you worked out the dream  sequence plan ,you have to visualize the above sequence several times before going to sleep,long enough to appear/influence your dreams.You can combine Visualization with progressive  muscle relaxation and deep breathing.

FOLLOW UP PLAN– If you practice this technique for  few days you will be  surprised to see that you don’t remember your nightmares in next few days ,before they disappear for good. Sometimes the nightmares reappear during stressful times but they respond better to the same techniques again.

For example I had a patient with nightmares for number of years, of a person chasing him . We worked out  the sequence for a scene controlled and directed by a patient. Being  chased is the middle part. He choose the players. After the game is over they laughed and felt relieved it was only a game.Surprisingly the nightmares disappeared.

Please pass on this info to people so they can use it not only to help yourself to treat nightmares but also to develop very powerful positive dreams and thoughts to fulfill your goals.

If you like this post or have any suggestions drop a note to encourage.

Dr B B Katta

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