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Dream expert reveals meaning of nightmares

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Dream expert reveals meaning of nightmares and how to handle them

Foreword by Dr Susannah Benson

Published by Calico Publishing, September 2016, RRP: $40.00

KIWI dream expert Margaret Bowater has discovered how to harness the power of nightmares and reveals her latest discoveries in a new book, Healing the Nightmare, Freeing the Soul.

President of Dream Network Aotearoa, Bowater is a leading authority on the subject and insists nightmares and disturbing dreams need our urgent attention.

We all experience different stages of sleep during the sleep cycle, from light sleep through to a period known as REM – a deep sleep with rapid-eye movement, when our limbs become temporarily paralysed. This is when the dreams and nightmares we actually remember take place.

Nightmares are the red flags of emotional distress, and if left unattended, they not only interfere with sleep, but can damage our physical and mental health. Offering fascinating insights, Healing the Nightmare, Freeing the Soul charts the main kinds of nightmares and offers a practical process for dealing with them. Causes can include lack of sleep, stress, toxic conditions in the brain and internal conflict or exposure to violence – or the threat of it.

Bowater believes dreams are an on-going source of feedback from the inner self or spirit to the conscious ego, often providing a mirror to observe ourselves and our lives.

Essentially a cry for help to the conscious mind, nightmares often present in metaphorical form, and components of the imagery can offer clues to resolution, such as inviting the figure of fear to speak, or continuing the storyline to a new outcome.

A practical guide to dream work, Healing the Nightmare, Freeing the Soul shows the dreamer how to relate the nightmare to what has been going on in their life, and how to respond constructively to a disturbing dream.

Featuring almost 80 in-depth examples and relating to fields of medicine, psychology and religion, it will be of interest to counsellors, nurses and other health and medical professionals, as well as parents, caregivers, teachers, psychologists and clergy.

Margaret Bowater, MA, is a senior counselling trainer and transactional analyst with 30 years’ experience in leading hundreds of dream workshops for professional, private and religious groups, both internationally and within New Zealand. Her first book, Dreams and Visions: Language of the Spirit, was published in 1997, since when she has published over 60 articles in professional journals. She is President of the Dream Network Aotearoa–New Zealand, and is a regional representative for New Zealand in the International Association for the Study of Dreams.


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