Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

CPTSD Nightmares

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

As a child I had nightmares from a very early age. I would often have the same nightmare over and over. I won’t go into details but they involved severe threat of inescapable annihilation and obliteration.


I can still get these same dreams now that are versions of these childhood dreams. They have come and gone over different periods of my life. Over the past 5 months I’ve been in a nightmare phase again. I’ve been woken by two last night which is pretty normal at present. Other times I go through phases where I haven’t had nightmares and thought to myself, I don’t really get nightmares, like I forget the fact that I have had bouts of them. I think this is a kind of dissociation where I blank out the experiences. Then I am plunged back into them again.


I am wondering if others have found or learned strategies for managing nightmares with PTSD or CPTSD? I just read about an interesting therapeutic approach this morning. It’s called Image Rehearsal Therapy. What you do is write out the dream but with a different non-scary story where there is a safe, positive resolution. I am going to try this. It sounds similar to the Somatic Experiencing work I have done where you go through a re-enactment of a past trauma where you get to act out the actions of self-protection and escape you never got to do at the time of an incident.


At the moment I have a lot of terror all day everyday and then it manifests even when I’m asleep. In the last 5 months I sleep between about 3-6 hours most nights. I often then sleep in the afternoon and have strange, disturbing dreams then too.


 I guess I’m wondering if anyone has overcome their nightmares and if so what seemed to help?

6 Replies 6

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello again, 


For anyone else struggling with this, I've just found a YouTube video about The Dream Completion Technique, which sounds similar to the Image Rehearsal Therapy I read about. The video is called "Learn How to Stop PTSD Nightmares with Dr Justin Havens". I'm going to try this one tonight. It's quite a simple idea, but can apparently be quite effective.

Dear ER~

I just read in Blue's thread that you are not feeling well and unable to keep food down. As this not something I remember you mentioning before I'm a bit worried about you and hope eihter it is just a bug that will quickly pass not Covid.. Either way I'm thinking of you. Do you have any support with this?


You are a very determined and kind person, I notice you condition did not stop you looking into emotional regularization and autism for Blue, and have also been supporting others in their  threads too.


I hope you find the comfort I do in such assistance when the world is very uncomfortable or hard to take.


To cheer you up have a  breeding pair of penguins 🐧 🐧(don't thank me I've heaps and soon you will have too:)




Dear Croix,


Thank you for your kind concern. I thought the not keeping food down was part of long term health issues I have, but it is Covid which I tested positive for on Thursday. I started to suspect it when my whole body was aching. So I’ve been quite unwell but not the worst thing I’ve ever had. Basically lying down most of the time. I’ve ordered a supermarket delivery that will arrive Monday so will have some supplies and hopefully improving by then.

Thank you so much for the pair of breeding penguins 🐧🐧 I think I will find baby penguins adorable 🥰 I’m now imagining them waddling around my home 🙂


Many thanks again for your thoughtfulness.


Dear ER

I'm glad you know what it is and from your tone I"m guessing Covid is something you can cope with. Being able to order groceries must be a real boon , I"m at too remote a location and have to wait until Mrs C or we both go into town unless we want to use the local shop, which is a more expensive exercise.


I'm not sure if you have heard of geometric progression, unfortunately penguins have. It rather reminds me of the legend of a person requesting a reward from an eastern potentate being rice,  placing of one grain of rice on the first square of a chess board, doubling it on the second, doubling that on the third and so on.


Croix (who learned progression the hard way:)

Dear Croix,


I have a neighbouring town that will do deliveries. It’s the first time I’ve ever ordered groceries online. It’s also nice to be in a bit of a remote location. I imagine that gives you and Mrs C some protection from things like Covid. I most definitely acquired it on a visit to the city. It’s not very pleasant but manageable.


I think I recall geometric progression now. I know it involves numbers in a sequence getting exponentially higher. I was just informing MK on another thread that I now have plenty of penguin chicks running amok in my home. Penguins are expert mathematicians! I have an abundance of fluff balls running around:)





Dear ER~

If you were planning on soothing the Covid with a nourishing a bowl of chowder I suggest you postpone your plans. Otherwise it will go from "adorable baby penguins" to "get your rotten little beaks out of my chowder!!!" when you see your bowl ringed by a circle of tiny heads accompanied by slurping sounds.


Croix (who sticks to clams)