The Dream Journal
The Dream Journal
When Your Mind Doesn't Paint a Picture with Paulina Trevena, PhD

When your mind doesn’t generate images, how does that affect your dreaming? Aphantasia affects as much as 5% of the population. Are you an aphant? Our guest is Paulina Trevena, PhD. Picture an apple. What do you see? Paulina starts out by taking us through a few tests to gauge our ability to visualize. People fall onto a spectrum of ability to make images in their minds. Often aphants can create other sensations in their minds but some think primarily in words only.

Interestingly, this neuro-divergence (sometimes called image-free thinking) is often linked to SDAM, a severely deficient autobiographical memory. Like many aphants, Paulina does have vivid dream images and her dreams are often wild, but she cannot picture the dreams once she awakens.

After the break we take a call from Donna Glee Williams who tells us about her experiences with an aphant in one of her dream groups. We talk about aphantic visual artists and strategies for hypnotic induction with aphants. She ends by describing PTSD for aphants and then speculates on a possible connection between ADHD and aphanatasia.

Paulina’s webpage is still in progress but should be available in a few weeks at In the mean time you can contact her through social media at: FB: @NoWooWooLady, LI: @DrPaulinaTrevena, or X: @paulina_trevena

Here are some resources for aphants: and

BIO: Paulina Trevena, PhD, is a hypnotherapist, educator, and researcher. After years in academic research, Paulina discovered the fascinating world of hypnosis and was hooked! However, Paulina found her aphantasia was a barrier to accessing hypnosis. This led her to research and now educate on best practice in working with aphantasics.

This show, episode number 266, was recorded during a live broadcast on July 6, 2024 at, community radio of Santa Cruz.

Intro and outro music by Mood Science. Ambient music new every week by Rick Kleffel. Archived music can be found at Many thanks to Rick Kleffel for also engineering the show and to Tony Russomano for the phones.


SHARE A DREAM FOR THE SHOW or a question by emailing Katherine Bell at Follow on FB and IG @ExperientialDreamwork #thedreamjournal. To learn more or to inquire about exploring your own dreams go to

The Dream Journal aims to:
Increase awareness of and appreciation for nightly dreams.
Inspire dream sharing and other kinds of dream exploration as a way of adding depth and meaningfulness to lives and relationships.
Improve society by the increased empathy, emotional balance, and sense of wonder which dream exploration invites.

The Dream Journal is produced at and airs on KSQD Santa Cruz, 90.7 FM. Catch it streaming LIVE at 10-11am Pacific Time on Saturdays. Call or text with your dreams or questions at 831-900-5773 or email at Podcasts are available on all major podcast platforms released the Monday following the live show. The complete KSQD Dream Journal podcast page can be found at Now also available on PRX at

Note that closed captioning is available on the YouTube version of this podcast and an automatically generated transcript is available at Apple Podcasts.

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