Dreams in bereavement: Case study

  • Wojciech Owczarski (Author)
    University of Gdansk

Identifiers (Article)


This article presents a case study of a Polish middle-aged woman whose mother died after a long and serious illness. This woman started collecting her dreams over the period of one year. She wrote down 29 dreams in which her deceased mother appeared. The dreams changed along with time – in terms of their content and structure – reflecting consecutive phases of the dreamer’s adjustment to life after her loss. In the article, the dream content changes are characterised with the help of Hall/ Van de Castle scale. Continuity between the dream content and the dreamer’s waking process of coping with grief is explained in the light of the informant’s comments. Moreover, some healing effects of those dreams are suggested and observable in three main dimensions: diagnostic, distracting, and compensatory.


dreams in bereavement, grief, trauma, continuity hypothesis of dreaming, therapeutic effects of dreams
How to Cite
Owczarski, W. (2021). Dreams in bereavement: Case study. International Journal of Dream Research, 14(1), 30–35. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2021.1.74179