Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Clinical Section

Long Term Reduction of Nightmares with Imagery Rehearsal Treatment

Barry Krakowa1, Robert Kellnera1, Dorothy Pathaka1 and Lori Lamberta1

a1 University of New Mexico School of Medicine


An eighteen month follow-up of chronic nightmare sufferers treated with imagery rehearsal, a cognitive-behavioral method, demonstrated significant and clinically meaningful decreases in nightmare frequency. Sixty-eight percent of subjects decreased their nightmares below criteria for a “Chronic Nightmare Disorder”. Significant improvement was also noted for sleep quality and daytime anxiety. The findings support the theory that nightmares may be clinically conceptualized as a primary sleep disorder in some chronic sufferers.


Reprint requests to Dr Barry Krakow, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, UNM Sleep Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, ACC, 4-W, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131–5246, USA.