Books by Deirdre Barrett   Deirdre_Barrett"
Pandemic Dreams
"This fascinating little volume explores the stuff that dreams are made of and the role the pandemic is playing in them. The dreams from Barrett's survey are riveting vignettes--from terrifying to touching to hilarious. Her decades of scientific research and clinical practice inform incisive commentary on what these dreams reveal about society's response. She offers simple exercises for managing anxieties over COVID-19 and for inspiring adaption in this unique period of history. A great read!"
-Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club

Pandemic Dreams draws on Dr. Barrett's survey of 9,000 dreams about the COVID-19 crisis. It describes how dreaming has reflected each aspect of the pandemic: fear of catching the virus, reactions to sheltering at home, work changes, homeschooling, and an individual's increased isolation or crowding. Some patterns are similar to other crises Dr. Barrett has studied such as 9/11, Kuwaitis during the Iraqi Occupation, and POWs in WWII Nazi prison camps. There are also distinctive metaphors for COVID-19: bug-attack dreams and ones of invisible monsters.These reflect that this crisis is less visible than others we have faced. Over the past three months, dreams have progressed from fearful depictions of the mysterious new threat . . . to impatience with restrictions . . . to more fear again as the world begins to reopen. And dreams have just begun to consider the big picture: how society may change.The book offers guidance on how we can best utilize our newly supercharged dream lives to aid us through the crisis and beyond.
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The Committee of Sleep by Deirdre Barrett
"It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it." --John Steinbeck

Scientific research confirms what people have always known: answers, ideas, and inspiration do come to us in dreams. Harvard psychologist and world-renowned dream specialist Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., offers this rich collection of examples of how the world's most creative practitioners in art, music, film, science, literature and other fields have used the revelations of their dream life to inform their work. Dr. Barrett also offers insights showing us how to encourage more lucid, meaningful dreaming, and how to apply the meanings of our dreams to solving problems--from the everyday to the extraordinary.

Read this book, sleep on it, and see what transpires!

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The Pregnant Man by Deirdre Barrett
A student bound for a prestigious writing program is suddenly and inexplicably incapable of reading a single word. A staid society matron, looking to overcome her anxiety about flying, reveals a daredevil past. A young woman trying to come to terms with her sister's suicide is hampered by a poltergeist's mischievous interventions. A man who sets out to end an addiction to nicotine instead develops a false pregnancy.

In The Pregnant Man: And Other Cases from a Hypnotherapist's Couch, Dr. Deirdre Barrett describes how she has used the fascinating discipline known as hypnotherapy to treat seven patients. She demonstrates how hypnosis can accelerate and magnify the benefits of psychotherapy--and occasionally its dangers. Several of Dr. Barrett's patients evince disquieting symptoms--hallucinations, multiple personalities, and more--that hypnotic explorations reveal as variations on the universal themes of love, bereavement, envy, and shame. Other patients bring to her couch more mundane complaints--a desire to quit smoking, fear of flying--and in the course of their therapy uncover surprising dramas behind them."

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Supernormal Stimuli by Deirdre Barrett
A Harvard psychologist explains how our once-helpful instincts get hijacked in our garish modern world. Our instincts--for food, sex, or territorial protection--evolved for life on the savannahs 10,000 years ago, not in today's world of densely populated cities, technological innovations, and pollution. We now have access to a glut of larger-than-life objects, from candy to pornography to atomic weapons―that gratify these gut instincts with often-dangerous results.

Animal biologists coined the term "supernormal stimuli" to describe imitations that appeal to primitive instincts and exert a stronger pull than real things, such as soccer balls that geese prefer over eggs. Evolutionary psychologist Deirdre Barrett applies this concept to the alarming disconnect between human instinct and our created environment, demonstrating how supernormal stimuli are a major cause of today's most pressing problems, including obesity and war. However, Barrett does more than show how unfettered instincts fuel dangerous excesses. She also reminds us that by exercising self-control we can rein them in, potentially saving ourselves and civilization.

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Trauma and Dreams
According to the poet Elias Canetti, "All the things one has forgotten / scream for help in dreams."

In this edited volume, Deirdre Barrett brings together the study of dreams and the psychology of trauma. She has called on a distinguished group of psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers--among them Rosalind Cartwright, Robert J. Lifton, and Oliver Sacks--to consider how trauma shapes dreaming and what the dreaming mind might reveal about trauma. The book focuses on catastrophic events, such as combat, political torture, natural disasters, and rape. The lasting effects of childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse or severe burns, on personality formation, the nature of memories of early trauma, and the development of defenses related to amnesia and dissociation are all considered. Finally, this volume concludes with a look at the potential "traumas of normal life," such as divorce, bereavement, and life-threatening illness, and the role of dreams in working through normal grief and loss.

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