Nightmares & Night Terrors
Question #1 – from an adult
For at least 18 years, I have had nightmares involving being killed, mostly with guns and knives. They involve trying to elude killers by determining who they may be within groups of unknown people. To no surprise, I rarely wake up refreshed and many times the terror carries over to my waking hours as my dreams are so lifelike. Can anything help? I would appreciate any advice you may have and thank you in advance.
Question #2 from a parent
I have a six-year-old step-daughter who has terrible night terrors every night. They have been going on for two years now. What can be done to help her with these?
There can be so many reasons for nightmares and night terrors. Some can be seemingly small and insignificant to the conscious mind, but have been received by the unconscious mind as larger than they are--a scary TV program, a story, tension in the family or at work or school, something said without thinking, etc. The following can be done with adult or child:
You might try having the child reconstruct one of their nightmares, walk into it with her, hand in hand, and face what is there. Let her hold something that is powerful, such as a laser that she can use to conquer whatever is frightening her. If she were my client, I would probably make suggestions that her deeper mind find out what is frightening her and changing it to something else that makes her feel secure. The adult could do this by getting as relaxed as possible, and call up someone whom she or he feels is strong and reliable. Then, walk into your last dream as you remember it, and let it take you where you can face the feared one and conquer it.
I have found that many hypnotic methods that work with children also work well with adults. Not every hypnotherapist works with children. I do, and I find them wonderful to work with. Children’s healthy imaginations make it possible to use a wide spread of imaginal and hypnotic tools to find solutions to their problems very quickly.
Most qualified hypnotherapists can help with nightmares. For the parent writing the above, I’d advise locating a good hypnotherapist or play therapist who likes working with children. Ask therapists in your area for recommendations.