IASD Members - this page was last updated on Wed, 02 Oct 2013

Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D.

352 Harvard St.
Cambridge, MA

United States

Writer and faculty, Harvard Medical School
Internet Presence

Website: Phone: 617 828-8691

About Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D.

I'm a clinical psychologist. I teach at Harvard Medical School and I write books--both ones for the general public and academic volumns. Dreaming is one of my two areas of research--the other being hypnosis. In terms of dreaming, my emphasis has been on its relation to creativity and objective problem solving, dream incubation, and the role of dream in PTSD. Theoretically, I'm an evolutionary psychologist; I believe that dreams are essentially thinking in a different biochemical state and that they can be extremely helpful because of focusing on our life-issues from a very different perspective.
nnual conferences.
I use dreams in my own self-exploration, in work with psychotherapy clients, and in psychology research. In addition to Harvard, I've been lucky to travel and have lectured on dreams in Russia, Kuwait, Israel, England and Holland, at Esalen and the Smithsonian, and talked about them on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox, and The Discovery Channel.

My notes on the IASD

Jayne Gackenback called my attention to the group just as it was organizing (Thanks, Jayne!) I joined when it was still calling itself "Dreamworkers International." I signed up for the first conference, got mono and didn't go, but have attended every conference since since the second. I was Program Chair twice--1989 London and 1992 Santa Cruz. I served as President in 1995/1996 and am currently Editor-in-Chief of DREAMING: The Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. I also write the film review column, 'The Dream Videophile' published in IASD's magazine Dream Time.

 List of dream-related publications and/or web sites where my work is featured.


Barrett, D. L. The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists, and Athletes Use their Dreams for Creative Problem Solving—and How You Can Too. NY: Crown Books/Random House, 2001/hardback.

Barrett, D. L. (Ed.) Trauma and Dreams. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.

Barrett, D. L. & McNamara, P. (Eds.) The New Science of Dreaming, (3 vol.): Volume I: The Biology of Dreaming, Volume II: Content, Recall, and Personality Correlates of Dreams, Volume III: Cultural and Theoretical Perspectives on Dreaming, NY, NY: Praeger/Greenwood, June, 2007.

Barrett, D & McNamara, P (Eds.) The Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams (2 Vol.) Greenwood/June 2012.


Barrett, D. L. The Hypnotic Dream: Its Content in Comparison to Nocturnal Dreams and Waking Fantasy. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1979, Vol. 88, p. 584 591.

Dunn, K. K. and Barrett, D. L. Characteristics of Nightmare Subjects and their Nightmares. Psychiatric Journal of The University of Ottawa, 1988, Vol. 13, p. 91 93.

Barrett, D. L. Dreams of Death. OMEGA: the Journal of Death and Dying, 1988, Vol. 19, p. 95 102.

Zamore, N. and Barrett, D. L. Hypnotic susceptibility and dream characteristics. Psychiatric Journal of The University of Ottawa, 1989, Vol 14, p. 572 574.

Barrett, D.L. Through a glass darkly: the dead appear in dreams. OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying, 1991, Vol. 24, p. 97 108.

Barrett, D. L. An Empirical Study of The Relationship of Lucidity and Flying Dreams. Dreaming: the Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams, 1991, Vol 1, No. 2, p. 129 133.

Barrett, D. L. and Loeffler, M. The effect of depression on the manifest content of the dreams of college students. Psychological Reports, 1992, 70, p. 403 406.

Barrett, D. L. Just how lucid are lucid dreams: an empirical study of their cognitive characteristics. Dreaming: The Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams, 1992, Vol 2., p. 221 228.

Barrett, D.L. The 'Committee of Sleep': A Study of Dream Incubation for Problem Solving. Dreaming: J. of the Assoc.for the Study of Dreams, 1993, 3, p. 115 123.

Barrett, D. L. Dreams in Dissociative Disorders. Dreaming: J. of the Assoc. for the Study of Dreams, 1994, Vol 4, No. 3, p. 165 177.

Barrett, D. L. The Dream Character as a Prototype for the Multiple Personality "Alter". Dissociation, Vol. 8, March 1995, p. 61 68.

Barrett, D. L. Using Hypnosis to work with dreams. Self and Society: A Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 23, p. 25-28, 1996.

Barrett, D. L. The “Royal Road” Becomes a Shrewd Shortcut: The Use of Dreams in Focused Treatment, Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Vol. 16, No 1, 2002.

Deirdre Barrett, Zach Sogolow, Angela Oh, Jasmine Panton, Malcolm Grayson, & Melanie Justiniano (2013) Content of Dreams from WWII POWs. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, Vol 33, p. 293-204.


Barrett, D. L. Dreaming as a normal model for multiple personality disorder. Chapter in S. J. Lynn (Ed.) Dissociation: Clinical, theoretical and research Perspectives. NY: Guilford, 1994, 123 135.

Barrett, D. L. Dreams in Multiple Personality. Chapt. in D. Barrett (Ed.) Trauma and Dreams. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.

Barrett, D. L. The relation of dissociative states to sleep and dreaming. Chapt. in S. Krippner, Ed. Varieties of Dissociative Experience, Brunner-Mazel, 1997.

Barrett, D. Dreams in Short-term Psychotherapy in Rosner, Rachel I.; Lyddon, William J.; Freeman, Arthur (Eds) Cognitive Therapy and Dreams. Springer Publishing Company, 2003.

Barrett, D & Behbehani, J. Post traumatic Nightmares in Kuwait Following the Iraqi Invasion Chapt. in S. Krippner, Ed. Psychological Effects of War on Civilian Populations, Baywood, 2003.

Barrett, D. L. An Evolutionary Theory of Dreams and Problem-Solving in Barrett, D. L. & McNamara, P. (Eds.) The New Science of Dreaming, Volume III: Cultural and Theoretical Perspectives on Dreaming NY, NY: Praeger/Greenwood, 2007.


Barrett, D. L. The Power of Hypnosis in Psychology Today, January, 2001

Barrett, D. L. In Dreams Begin Technologies in Invention and Technology, Fall 2001.

Barrett, D. L. The Relationship of the Dreaming World to the Waking One in Program for A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, July 2011.

Barrett, D. L. Answers in Your Dreams in Scientific American Mind, Nov/Dec 2011.

An article on my latest research with a group of my Harvard students can be found here:
Dream Saga of WWII

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed on this page are those of the individual IASD member [Edit]