Treatment for Nightmares
Do you experience the same bad dream over and over?
Some nights, does it seem like you are almost afraid to go to bed because of that nightmare haunts you?
Whether your nightmare stems from a real-life traumatic experience or represents an exaggerated nighttime spillover of everyday stress, Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) or Exposure, Rescripting and Relaxation Therapy (ERRT) may help you regain restful sleep. Both treatments are effective with reducing the intensity and frequency of repetitive nightmares.
IRT and ERRT both view nightmares as normal and healthy process of dreaming gone awry in the context of overwhelming stress. IRT is a short-term therapy designed to reduce the frequency of your nightmares and the level of distress it creates in your mind. ERRT, in addition, uses cognitive behavioral principles to quickly resolve emotional conflicts that the nightmare narrative brings up. Both treatments focus on re-scripting the nightmare storyline into a less upsetting ending.
IRT and ERRT can be a useful add-on to CBT-I or a stand-alone therapy for those who only experience nightmares and would not otherwise suffer from insomnia.
For people who follow through with practice exercises taught in weekly therapy, most respond positively in just one month of weekly therapy.