As a trainable skill and scientifically-verifiable event during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a lucid dream occurs when a person achieves the explicit insight that he or she is dreaming while dreaming. Upon recognizing this, or becoming lucid in a dream, we reflect on and shift our mental model of the world accordingly. New, previously-unseen possibilities become illuminated for understanding, honoring, shaping, and responding to our experiences in valuable ways. The practice of lucid dreaming creates a path to self-nurture positive change within our dreams and in ourselves, and thus, in our lives and shared experiences.
In general, Lucid Dreaming Therapy (LDT) is appropriate for individuals who are interested in lucid dreaming, and would like to learn to use lucid dreams to nurture their health, well-being, or creativity. LDT also has clinical applications specific to nightmares and distress due to recurrent sleep paralysis, and potentially to affective disorders, such as depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
LDT centers on the practice of lucid dreaming, and is different from traditional dream interpretation or dreamwork. As a novel therapy, the philosophy developing behind LDT is derived from modern psychology and scientific research, as well as Eastern influences, such as mindfulness and Tibetan Buddhist Dream Yoga. You do not need to already have lucid dreams to benefit from LDT.
Dr. LaMarca holds a growing expertise in the applications of lucid dreaming to assist in the various change and healing processes in psychotherapy. She has been a practitioner of lucid dreaming since 2005, and assists with the training workshops and scientific experiments of the Lucidity Institute. She also offers consultation, workshops, and other training related to lucid dreaming for those who do not have clinical conditions or the need for psychotherapy (See here for more details).
Learn to Lucid Dream: Powerful Techniques for Awakening Creativity and Consciousness (2019), by Kristen LaMarca PhD. A short, methodical introduction to both the science and spirituality of dreaming. Includes step-by-step techniques, accounts, and a 24-hour practice sequence.
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (1990), by Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold. Classic how-to guide on lucid dreaming available on Amazon.com. A concise guide to lucid dreaming is also available with audio cd exercises.
Overcoming Nightmares: Excerpt from Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming about how to use lucidity to transform nightmares, reconcile inner conflicts, and foster self-integration.
Mindful Lucid Dreaming: Education, training, and blogposts by Dr LaMarca on lucid dreaming from psychological, scientific, and personal perspectives. Visit mindfulluciddreaming.com.