The Dream Journal
Focusing on Nightmares with Dr Leslie Ellis

We talked with Dr. Leslie Ellis about the value of nightmares and recurring dreams in connecting us with what is going on inside. We spoke about two different kinds of nightmares (post-traumatic and the more common idiopathic) and the different ways to work with each. A powerful way of working with both kinds of nightmares is to find “the help” in the dream which allows us to face the difficult issues that the dreams are pointing to. Both Leslie and Katherine shared personal traumatic events and the dreams that helped them to process those experiences. Dr Ellis also described the Focusing process which enhances therapeutic effects by magnifying the felt sense in the body. We finished off by describing the relationship between night dreams and day dreams.


Dr. Leslie Ellis is an author, teacher, speaker and clinical dreamworker. Her recent book, A Clinician’s Guide to Dream Therapy (Routledge, 2019) offers therapists a primer in modern, experiential dreamwork methods. Her award-winning PhD research developed a nightmare treatment process for refugees. She honed her somatic, experiential focus through extensive study of focusing, a gentle embodied approach to therapy and she is currently president of The International Focusing Institute. She studied depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and her practice is a hybrid of Jungian and focusing-oriented approaches. She is also an expert in treatment of complex trauma and post-traumatic stress injury and developed and taught trauma work at Adler University in Vancouver.

You can reach Dr. Ellis at her webpage or at this link here: DreamsDemystified.

Show aired on August 8, 2020.


The Dream Journal is produced at and airs on KSQD Santa Cruz, 90.7 FM, streaming live at 10-11am Saturday mornings Pacific time.  Catch it live and call in with your dreams or questions at 831-900-5773.

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