Decreased PTSD Symptoms Following Lucid Dream Healing Workshop | Garret Yount

Introduction: People have believed in the capacity for self-healing through dreams throughout human history. Recent investigations of lucid dreaming suggest that this unique form of dreaming may be especially useful for promoting healing due to the lucid dreamer’s capacity for goal-directed action in the dream. The objectives of this pilot study were to

determine the feasibility of studying healing lucid dreams for people with PTSD and to gather relevant preliminary data.

Methods: Following a one-group, pretest-posttest research design, participants were recruited to experience an online healing lucid dreaming workshop. Of 144 adults experiencing chronic symptoms of PTSD who were screened, 49 completed the workshop from their homes in six different countries. The workshop consisted of 22 hours of live teaching via video conferencing spread, over six days, with curriculum including sleep hygiene principles, guided meditations, yoga Nidra, dream sharing circles, lucid dream exercises, dream planning lessons, and multiple lucid dreaming induction techniques. Outcome measures were collected before, during, and immediately after the workshop, as well as one month later. The primary outcome measure was self-reported PTSD symptom severity, as measured using the standardized PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). Secondary outcomes included the degree of distress caused by nightmares measured using the Nightmare Experience Scale (NexS; Kelly et al., 2019), overall well-being using the Arizona Integrative Outcomes Scale, and positive and negative emotions using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Salivary alpha-amylase levels were assessed as an exploratory measure with four of the participants who collected saliva samples each morning.

Discussion: The finding that participants experienced clinically significant and persistent relief from symptoms of PTSD, including reduced experiences of distressing nightmares, confirms the feasibility of studying the healing power of lucid dreaming. Further confirmation of feasibility is provided by the finding that a majority of the participants in the study who achieved lucidity were also able to remember their dream plans for healing in the lucid dreamscape. Future studies are warranted that incorporate experimental conditions designed to distinguish effects unique to dream lucidity and to explore the mechanisms of action underlying the health benefits experienced following healing lucid dreams.


Kelly, W., & Mathe, J. (2019). A brief self-report measure of frequent distressing nightmares: The Nightmare Experience Scale (NExS). Dreaming, 29(2), 180–195.Support the Society’s commitment to maintain an open professional forum for researchers at the edge of conventional science:

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Published on September 28, 2023