Imagery rehearsal therapy for post-trauma nightmares

sleep treatmentMelynda Casement and Leslie Swanson have recently published an interesting meta-analysis on imagery rehearsal therapy. Find the summary below, with thanks to Georgina Johnstone*.


Sleep problems are a central component of posttraumatic stress, both in children and adults. Difficulty maintaining sleep is reported by up to 91% of people with PTSD, with 72% experiencing nightmares.

Imagery rehearsal (IR) therapy is more and more used to overcome these sleep problems. Although not all versions of IR employ exactly the same techniques, they all have a cognitive behavioral orientation and include these three elements: Continue reading

Sleep difficulties in children exposed to trauma

In 2012, the blog weekly features a summary or discussion of a recent scientific article on traumatic stress in children.

This week a summary of Hall Brown et al. (Oct 2011) on sleep in children after Hurricane Katrina.


In childhood it is normal to have some nighttime fears. Most children outgrow them. However, when fears continue to exist, they endanger sleep quality and daily functioning. One situation in which this may happen, is after traumatic exposure.

We know that adult mental health problems and sleep difficulties are related after trauma but we have only very limited data on children. Therefore, Hall Brown and colleagues studied the role of sleep problems in the maintenance of posttraumatic stress symptoms in youths who experienced Hurricane Katrina. Continue reading