Last night I dreamt that I was lying in bed and feeling funny sensations, like not being able to breathe. In the dream, I grabbed my chest and felt a huge snake wrapped around my body. It was a boa constrictor! I struggled to get it off of me, then I woke up.

The night before that I dreamt that three men invaded my house and one pinned me down on the stairs and was raping me. I woke up.


Do you think I need counseling? And if so, what type would be most effective in stopping these nightmares?

11 Replies

  • I have also had dreams of intruders in my home and of being trapped by snakes. I have found that when there are stressors in my waking life the nightmares come. If an old issue is not resolved I have nightmares.

    I have learned to lucid dream. That way I have control over my dreams and can maneuver through them and change the outcome somewhat. Maybe meditation will calm your mind and thus calm the dreams.

    Even identifying the stressor helped. For example: I used to dream about buses that went nowhere and elevators that went sideways. This meant I was going nowhere in my life. I wound up changing jobs and found ways to "move up" and the dreams stopped.

    I'm sure there may be more scientific ways of calming the nightmares but these worked for me.

  • Thanks...I feel better already!

  • Hi Marlenam. It sure sounds like your nightmares are signaling something to you. That is pretty major! I think the decision to seek counseling is up to each person, and while those of us on a help forum are very well intentioned, I think I'd rather rely on the counsel of professionals to make the decision to seek counseling.

    If it were me, I'd check with someone - a therapist, a counseling minister at church, someone with some experience and training, to see if a need for counseling is indicated. As others have discussed on here, the first therapist I visit might not be the right one for me. It might take some time to find the proper fit.

    Once I had a dream that a man was chasing me with a gun, and I turned and looked, and it was my Dad. I was so grateful I was working with a therapist who knew my issues. I had also just talked with one of the ministers at my church about my anger and rage issues. His insight was that "Dan, you have just opened up something really deep. Don't be surprised if it leads to other things." It did - I remembered a buried incident from my childhood, with my Dad.

    I was so glad to have the support of professionals in dealing with that deep issue.

    Good luck on your healing journey.


  • Thanks, Dan.

  • You are very welcome!

  • Marlenam -- I used to dream over and over that I was being chased by a man wanting to kill me. Our nightmares are ways our mind tries to resolve the conflicts it's facing. Therapy can help, especially with a therapist who's work is specifically dream oriented. Check out Dr. Bruce Dow, for example: PTSD and dreamwork is his specialty:

    p.s. Since my recovery that dream has stopped, whew! :)

  • Thanks, Michele. I will look him up!

  • Nightmares suck, as does not wanting to go to bed, or the stuff that happens when you are trying to fall asleep.

    If you can work through stuff in the daytime - therapy or simply trying to relax a little and allow the brain to do its thing then the nights will become less bad.

    Your brain is trying to swallow a scary elephant whole and struggling. This is normal. Every little chunk of that elephant that the brain can eat will help the nightmares. Processing scary stuff often means scary thoughts and dreams. They get less bad. You adapt. They happen less often.

    Mine are worse at the moment - I'm doing more to rebuild my life and that means eating more scary elephant chunks. But it's a much smaller elephant and after every nightmare I wake up thinking "that's another chunk eaten, one less to do!"

  • I accessed dr. Bruce Dow on your website, Michele. Great stuff. He said to imagine a different outcome, basically, to your nightmare. I am going to practice that. I'm basically having the same dream with a different setting, but the pattern duplicates the trauma. I am going to imagine God coming and yanking the guy by the collar to get off me. After all, who is more powerful than that? Will let you know if it works!

  • How very horrible....I am a rape survivor and have nitemares and flashbacks. Then sometimes I have dream paralysis where an evil force is after me and I try to scream but can not...but when I do I wake myself up screaming. they are horrible. my dogs help comfort me.....they can wake me up and let me know I am safe. There are meds out there for nitemares but they lower your blood pressure so much I can't take them. Yes...try counseling maybe....EMDR or tapping....or a ptsd dog!!

  • Since I originally posted this, I received therapy and also started a course of prazosin which helped a lot.

    I am pretty much nightmare and PTSD free now.

    Thanks for your input.

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