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Dreams that work: The relation of dream incorporation to adaptation to stressful events.

Dreaming (Impact Factor: 0.84). 02/1991; 1(1):3-9. DOI: 10.1037/h0094312

ABSTRACT Conducted sleep studies of 49 Ss going through divorce, 23 women and 26 men, at the time of the initial break-up and 1 yr later. 31 of these were diagnosed as depressed on a combined criterion of meeting the Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) and a Beck Depression score above 14, and 18 met neither criterion. The depressed and nondepressed Ss did not differ in Dream-like Fantasy, but did in Affect Strength and type. Depressed Ss who incorporated the ex-spouse into their dreams at the time of the break-up were significantly less depressed and significantly better adjusted to their new life at the follow-up point than Ss who did not. These dreams were rated as having stronger affect. Persons who are depressed during a stressful time in their lives, who dream with strong feelings, and who incorporate the stressor directly into their dreams appear to "work through" their depression more successfully than those who do not. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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