Online Track: June 19-22, 2023

Welcome to the International Association for the Study of Dreams’ 40th Annual Conference featuring renowned dream researchers and dream experts from around the world.

For our global network who are not able to join us in person, we offer the IASD Online Conference Track. This 4-day academic program includes selected highlights broadcast live, via Zoom, from Ashland, Oregon. It is filled with evidence-based talks on the latest dream research, lucid dreaming, working with nightmares, the art of creative dreaming and others we know you will enjoy.

The topic of dreams will be explored by a rich array of leading experts in the field, sharing their latest findings and insights. If we say so ourselves, the line-up is absolutely dreamy.

Be in the virtual room with our speakers, have the opportunity to ask questions in the live chat on Zoom, and receive follow up recordings of each session in the online program.  No matter where you are in the world, you won’t miss a thing!

Join us for the IASD Online Conference!

Full price tickets- $250 USD
Student tickets- $100 USD
Presenters- $200 USD

See the online conference program

Your session details and Zoom login will be sent to you prior to the event. 

So check your email and arrive early!

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Sign up to the conference mailing list for IASD news and early notification of next year’s conference.  We’ll see you there!

IASD Online Conference Program
June 19- 22, 2023
All running times are in Pacific Standard Time

Monday, June 19th

10:30 – 12:30

Research symposium: PTSD Nightmares and Psychotherapeutic Mechanisms

– CE

Greg Mahr, MD- Nightmares, Acute Trauma, and Suicidality

Graduate of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Director of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry at Henry Ford Hospital and co-author of ‘The Wisdom of Dreams: Science, synchronicity and the language of the soul’, Greg Mahr will discuss the ongoing study of nightmares in acute trauma, the severity of nightmares associated with suicidality, and the influence of nightmare content over recovery outcomes.

Sophie Boudrias, PsyD – The Role of Emotion to Update Emotional Memory through Reconsolidation in Dream-Based Psychotherapy

Psychologist, art psychotherapist, professor of art therapy at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Montreal, Canada) and author of a book chapter entitled Neuroscience and Somatic Art Therapy: Emotional Memory Reconsolidation, Sophie Boudrias summarizes the results of research conducted in the context of dream-based art psychotherapy. The results clarify the roles of emotion to facilitate implicit emotional memory updating through reconsolidation in psychotherapy.

Katja Valli, PhD Effect of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami on Dreaming

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Skövde, Sweden and a Senior Researcher at the University of Turku, Finland who has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on dreaming and consciousness, Katja Valli investigates how episodic memories of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami catastrophe were reflected in the dreams of five Swedish female survivors a few months after the incident, and assessed whether their emotional and threatening dream content differed from a matched Control group.

Fiona Henrich BA/BSc-HONS, MA-Clinical PsychologyUnderstanding Dreams after Post-Traumatic Stress- Development of a Model of Adaptive Dreaming

Psychology PhD Candidate at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, Clinical Psychologist, Fiona Henrich outlines current qualitative research on the phenomenology of trauma dreams following trauma exposure. She investigates the salient distinguishing nature and qualities that demarcate nightmares from adaptive dreams and considers the mechanisms of adaptive dreaming that elicit trauma adaptation and prevent PTSD.  A Model of Adaptive Dreaming is proposed.

12:30 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – 4:00

Research symposium: Methodological Approaches to Studying Dreams
Speakers – CE

Kelly Bulkeley, PhD-  An Introduction to the Sleep and Dream Database

Psychologist of religion focusing on dreams, Director of the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb), Senior Editor of the journal Dreaming, former IASD president and author, Kelly Bulkeley describes how to use the resources of the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb), an online, open-access archive of more than 50,000 dream reports and survey responses. Topics include methods to search the database, tools to analyze the reports and surveys, and open questions for new research.

Katja Valli, PhD- DREAM: A Dream EEG and Mentation Database

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Skövde, Sweden and a Senior Researcher at the University of Turku, Finland who has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on dreaming and consciousness, Katja Valli presents the Dream EEG And Mentation (DREAM) database, an expanding open collection of standardized datasets on sleep EEG combined with dream report data. DREAM increases the statistical power of studies focusing on the neural correlates of dreaming, and provides useful criteria for methodological choices for future dream laboratory projects.

Michael Schredl Methodological Challenges in Studying Possible Dream Functions

Editor of the online-journal “International Journal of Dream Research” who has worked in the sleep laboratory of the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany since 1990.  With publications covering various topics such as dream recall, dream content analysis, nightmares, dreams and sleep disorders, and sleep physiology, Michael Schredl reflects on the great many theories of the possible functions of dreaming that have been proposed over the years, and the question of how these theories can be studied empirically.

Ava Lindberg, PhD – Dreaming and Gamification: Enhancing Dreamwork through the Dream Game

Jungian psychologist and cultural anthropologist whose work emphasizes research, teaching, and therapy.  Ava Lindberg is also a visiting scholar in psychology with The BornGlobal Foundation and will discuss evidence from three 2022 qualitative initiatives of the influence of gamification on research participant dreaming. Applying the Dream Game to qualitative research with points, leaderboards, and rewards enhances dreaming frequency, motivates textual recording, intensifies willingness to illustrate symbols, with amplification of unconscious and conscious research findings.

Tuesday, June 20th

11:30 – 1:00

Clinical Special Event: Understanding and Exploring Children’s Nightmares

Alan Siegel, PhDUnderstanding and Exploring Children’s Nightmares

Associate Clinical Professor, UC Berkeley, Past President and Education Chair of IASD and accomplished author, Alan Siegel’s presentation covers understanding children’s nightmares: Clinical, cultural, and creative dimensions. Exploring pandemic nightmares linked to an epidemic of youth anxiety, depression and PTSD can help psychotherapists, educators, and parents explore, and soothe feelings the child may not communicate directly. It will discuss nightmare themes, case examples, creative strategies, cultural, and clinical dimensions. Exercises, discussion, and guidelines for mental health professionals, dreamworkers, educators, and parents.

1:00 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:30

Invited address: Dream Meaning Through Art Making: The Personal Journey of a Dream Researcher

Jayne Gackenbach – Dream Meaning Through Art Making: The Personal Journey of a Dream Researcher

Dream Researcher, Past President of IASD, author and lifetime crafter and art maker, Jayne Gackenbach will ask the question, how does image making provide meaning? By examining seven years of her dream/scrapbook diaries she will compare illustrations of dreams to images created in expressive arts inquiry. She will also consider dreams illustrated to those not illustrated.

Wednesday, June 21st

9:15 – 10:15

Special event: Impact of Dream Loss on Collective Unconscious
Speaker – CE

Rubin Naiman, PhDThe Impact of Dream Loss on Collective Consciousness

Psychologist, sleep and dream specialist, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and author,  Rubin Naiman has pioneered the development of innovative approaches to sleep and dreams that integrate sleep science and spirituality. This presentation reviews public health and lifestyle data suggesting that we are in the midst of a silent epidemic of dream loss, with critical ramifications for collective consciousness. It calls for creative strategies to restore and promote healthy dreaming.

10:30 – 12:30

Research symposium: Psychological Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Speakers – CE

Clarita Bonamino, MSc, BEng Lucid Dreaming Experiences in Adolescents and Their Impact on Waking Life

PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia, Clarita Bonamino’s research investigates the sleeping and lucid dreaming behaviours in adolescents with a particular focus on the effects of lucid dreaming practice on motor learning. This study explores the activities adolescents engage in when lucid dreaming, how these experiences are perceived, and how they subsequently affect their waking life. We discuss the importance of lucid dreaming to adolescents and its potential use as a therapeutic tool to support motor learning, personal growth and psychological well-being.

Virginia Bennett, PhD – Psychological Resistance to Lucid Dreaming and How to Overcome It

Clinical psychologist, presenter and consultant who has taught graduate psychology courses, and guided individuals and groups in dreamwork for over 20 years, and who has, since the 1970s daily recorded her own lucid and non-lucid dreams. Virginia Bennet, addresses those who desire to have lucid dreams, know the techniques, but do not experience them for psychological reasons. Behaviorism, cognitive and psychodynamic theories can help to overcome “resistance” to lucid dreaming.  This presentation will clarify limiting beliefs and emotions, finding ways to enhance the natural ability of lucid dreaming.

Karen Konkoly, MS – Experimentally Inducing Dream Content During REM Sleep to Promote Creative Problem-Solving

PhD candidate at Northwestern University in the USA, Karen Konkoly works in Ken Paller’s cognitive neuroscience lab, using EEG to study lucid dreaming. Her projects have focused on how two-way communication with dreamers can help us study how dreams are generated and what functions they may serve. We presented sounds during REM sleep linked to previously unsolved riddles. We assessed whether sounds could influence lucid and non-lucid dream content, and whether dreaming about puzzles could increase solving rates the next morning.

Remington Mallett  Viewing Lucid Dreaming Therapy Under the Lens of Emotion Regulation

Postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University, Remington Mallett studies sleep and dreams using neuroimaging and computational linguistics.  He considers that dreams can submerse you in a terrifying situation without intention or consent. For nightmare sufferers, this inability to choose dream content can lead to serious health problems. We will review our recent work suggesting that lucid dreaming offers therapeutic control over dream content akin to waking models of emotion regulation.

12:30 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – 4:00

Theory symposium: How Dreams are Formed, Inside and Out

David Kahn, PhD – Theory of Dream Formation and Function

Past President of IASD, Current Executive Board Member of IASD and currently on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry, David Kahn is engaged in research to help develop a neuropsychology of dreaming that can be used as a basis for a brain-based theory of psychiatry.   The emergent dream narrative consists of emotionally salient memories and material from random brain activation interwoven with memories. A function of dreaming at this stage creates associations between memories and random brain activation. These new associations are sources for a second order emergence, which may result in a transformative dream. 

James F. Pagel, MS/MD – The Paradox of REMS Dreaming

Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Cape Breton University, prolific author and past chair of the AASM education committee who co-developed the diagnostic code for Nightmare Disorder. James F. Pagel determines that REMS is defined physiologically by the presence of the intracranial theta rhythm. Unlike the other sleep/dream frequencies, REMS theta is not propagated outside the brain.  Physiologic characteristics of REMS theta include environmental disconnection, resonance with other states, and intrapersonal focus.  These psycho-physiologic patterns affect the content of REMS dreams.

Emma Peters Embodied Dreaming: Dream Incorporation Using Three Different Bodily Stimulation Methods

PhD student working on the neuroscience of sleep and dreaming who is working on the Embodied Dreaming Project, focusing on lucid dream induction from an embodied perspective. Previous publications include work on lucid dream induction using virtual reality training and sleep fragmentation, and lucid dreaming.   This talk will start with a brief introduction to dream incorporation, previous research and the results of a pilot study presented at the IASD hybrid event 2022. This is followed by the presentation of the results of a new study on dream incorporation using three different stimulation methods.

Melanie Rosen, PhD – Me and My Dream Body

Assistant professor at the philosophy department at Trent University, Ontario, who was a Carlsberg distinguished postdoctoral fellow at the Interacting minds Center, Aarhus University in Denmark, Melanie Rosen presents an analysis of the relationship between the dream body and waking body from the philosophical perspective of body-based theories of the self. I evaluate to what extent the dream body should be considered the “same body” as the waking body in a non-standard sense of identity

4:15 – 5:45

Theory symposium: How Dreams Prepare us for Waking Life


Alwin Wagener How Dreams Prepare Us for Waking Life: The Embodied Cognition Theory of Dreaming

This presentation is to introduce the Embodied Cognition Theory of Dreaming, which is a novel proposal based on the theory of embodied cognition that describes dreams as having three functions that serve to prepare individuals for waking life. This presentation will describe the theory, support for it, and its implications.

Robert J. Hoss Dream Content Support for an Emotional Processing Theory of Dreams

Various research studies suggest an emotional processing (or emotional problem solving) function to dreaming. This talk will discuss some of the elements of the theory as well various content studies that support the theory including singular cases, an 18-month series and a 45- year series from a PTSD survivor.

Thursday, June 22nd

11:30 – 1:00

Research symposium: Contemplative Perspectives on Dreaming Across Cultures

Speakers CE

Gabriela Torres Platas – Neural Correlates of Dream Yoga and its Effects on Cognitive Interference, and Mind Wandering

We aim to characterize Dream Yoga practices and how they can shift habits over time. We will employ neuroscientific advances to study neural correlates of such dreaming states. We will monitor advanced practitioners with EEG, informed by extensive interviews, post-sleep dream reports, and real-time two-way communication  during dream experiences.

Michelle Carr, PhD – Effects of Focusing- and Compassion-Based Dreamwork on Nightmare Sufferers and Control Subjects

Assistant Research Professor in the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine in Montreal, Quebec, President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Michelle Carr is the lead organizer for a research network on Dream Engineering. The overall goal of the current study is to compare the effects of two types of intentional dreamwork practice on primary outcome measures of dream anxiety, well-being, and attitude towards dreams, in both nightmare sufferers and control subjects, as well as to qualitatively describe dreamwork session experiences.

Michael Schredl Dreaming of God and The Role of Faith in Everyday Life: An Empirical Study

Editor of the online-journal “International Journal of Dream Research” who has worked in the sleep laboratory of the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany since 1990, Michael Schredl recognises that Christian faith and dreams are closely intertwined. The online survey data support a continuity between biblical times and modern times, that is, Christians for whom their faith plays an important role in their everyday lives think that dreams can carry messages from God.

1:00 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 3:30

Education symposium: Dreams, Creativity, and Art

Deirdre Barrett: Creative Projects in a Freshman Dream Seminar

Jayne Gackenbach w/co-presenter Robin Adair: Dream Meaning Through Art Making: A Continuing Education Course

Deirdre Barrett, Jayne Gackenbach, and Robin Adair –  Creative Projects in a Freshman Dream Seminar

Deirdre Barrett, PhD teaches at Harvard University. Her books include The Committee of Sleep, and Pandemic Dreams.  Deirdre is Editor of DREAMING, and Past President of IASD and The Society for Psychological Hypnosis. She makes digital dream art which has appeared in National Geographic and in the IASD show.

Jayne Gackenbach is one of the past presidents of IASD. Over her 40-year academic career as a dream researcher she examined first lucid dreams and later how media, especially video game play, affects dreams. Ten books, particularly “Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain” and “Boundaries of Self and Reality Online”, were published. Throughout her life she has been an artist and crafter who over time used art as a form of dreamwork.

Robin Adair is a visual artist and art educator. He teaches classes in painting, drawing, and art journalling through the Community Arts Certificate Program at the University of Saskatchewan. He also facilitates public and school programming at the Remai Modern in Saskatoon. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a PhD in English Literature.

The Harvard freshman seminar, Dreams: Our Minds by Night, surveys dream research and interpretation of students’ dreams but focuses predominantly on dreams and creativity. This talk will showcase a sample of final class projects including dream paintings, dream fiction and film, dream songs, dream dance and dream-related computer programs.

3:30 – 4:15 Break

4:15 – 5:30

Invited keynote: The Science and Art of Dreaming and Dream-Sharing

Mark Blagrove – The Science and Art of Dreaming and Dream-Sharing

Professor of Psychology and Director of the Sleep Laboratory at Swansea University, past-President of IASD, Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Mark Blagrove has researched sleep, memory and dreaming for almost 40 years. Since 2016, he has undertaken public Ullman dream discussions with artist Julia Lockheart simultaneously painting each dream as part of their collaboration.    

Experiments on the relationship between sleep, memory and dreaming can be complemented by the use of the Ullman method to explore memory sources of dreams. This was extended by Mark Blagrove to holding events for the public exploration of dreams with the dream painted simultaneously by his collaborator Julia Lockheart, and resulted in research on the increases in empathy that dream sharing elicits.