“Nightmares, at the simplest level, are just dreams

that scare, terrify and/or horrify us.”


Hi All,

Several folks have been asking about nightmares.

Nightmares, at the simplest level, are dreams that scare, terrify, horrify us. They invoke these extreme feelings, often waking us up, breathing fast, heart pounding.

But what they are, where they come from, why they come is more complex.

But, the brief version – how we work with a dream that terrifies us is the same as how we work with “regular” dreams, for example the dream where we forgot to study for an exam.

We open the dream, feel into what the dream is offering and trust that whatever needs to open, needs to open for a reason – for knowledge (self, foremost of all), for insight, for opening to scary feelings, for release and for healing.



For us, “difficult” feelings are part of the spectrum of the experience of being human. Fear, joy, agony, terror, trauma, hilarity…..they are all expressions of what it is to be human. Dreams that scare us are rich dreams that offer an opportunity, though it may be a difficult one, it may also be necessary.

For if we carry fear in some way inside of us, as shown in the dream – then the dream itself is not creating it, but, rather, bringing it to our attention. Bringing it up from perhaps some place that we have tried to tamp it down.

The dreams, of course, do not want us to face into what is scary without support or guidance. We have also found that when we have scary dreams, there is always support offered in facing what is scary – whether from a dream that is dreamt around the same time as the scary dream or even within the scary dream itself.



This is where archetypal figures in our dreams come in – to stand with us as we open, as we heal.

When our dreams offer the opening of what is difficult, then we trust that it is time for what is difficult to be opened and experienced. But, if it is something tied to trauma or something scary, then it is meant to be experienced in a new way – where we have support and have the space to not just “survive” but to feel and heal.

We believe dreams can heal even our deepest wounds and help us face even our deepest fears. They do this with grace, tenderness, compassion and love.

Sue Scavo



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