Earliest Remembered Dreams versus Recent Remembered Dreams

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This study is to compare the effects of working with Earliest Remembered Dreams (ERD) of individuals to more recent remembered dreams (RRD). A limited body of research examining the characteristics of ERDs (Bulkeley et al. 2005) suggests that many individuals remember a dream from between the age of 3-12 years, and these dreams very often vivid and intense and therefore might facilitate an exploration of salient aspects of the dreamer's early emotional life. However ERDs have never been compared with RRDs to examine if differences exist in their therapeutic value. Each participant was involved in one session with an ERD and one session with an RRD, using the Hill (1996, 2004) model of dream work. The session outcome of these sessions was compared. The study shows that the ERDs reported were 4 times more likely to be nightmares and 2.6 times more likely to be recurrent dreams when compared to RRDs. In terms of session outcome, working with both ERDs and RRDs were found to be equally effective, however the salience of the dream was a significant predictor of the benefit reported by clients.