Interactive Dream Healing for Ourselves and Others
Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.,  
Copyright (c) 2005

Presented to the International Association for the Study of Dreams Conference in Bridgewater, MA, June 2006.


Good Afternoon.

Today, I’d like to tell you about ways that I often attempt physical and emotional healing for myself and others in my dreams. I believe it can have a valuable effect on us in waking physical reality. Although difficult to measure, the results of my healings have usually seemed positive.

I will give you some examples and techniques of interactive dream healing, as well as discuss a number of important related issues and questions.  For example, do we also heal ourselves when we try to heal “others” in our dreams? Should dream healers follow an ethical code? Can dream healing have negative effects?


I’ll begin talking a few minutes about my own background.

Although I do not feel it necessary to use lucid dreams for dream healing, many of my healing attempts have occurred when I felt lucid, so let me clarify what I mean by lucidity.

To me, lucid dreaming does not mean merely “clear” dreaming, or even “controlled” dreaming. It only means that I feel aware at some level that I am dreaming while I am dreaming. However, I believe that the more lucid I get, the more a dream healing may affect me.

In a lucid dream, I feel more present than in a non-lucid dream, bringing my whole self into the experience. I know myself as more than my dream body and that the source of myself exists outside of the dream or inside the mind of the dreamer, or what I call our greater self.  When lucid, I connect to this dreamer, let go of any fear, and see endless possibilities.

Starting in the late 1970’s, I helped do research on lucid dreaming at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory. I would signal from the dream to the physical lab while being definitely asleep and dreaming. Our experiments of monitoring my physical conditions and seeing them change as I attempted various tasks with my dream body, proved to me that what I dream can affect my waking life. This led me to try healing from the dream world.

As I have said, most of my dream healings have occurred in lucid dream reality, when I remembered my healing goal. Many times I did not a need a goal, but merely went along with the dream, with more power, such as lack of fear, because of my lucidity, and I got a healing result.

I do, however, feel that even without lucidity, we can use other methods for healing such as, dream induction, visualization, or acting-out while in waking physical reality. Without ever getting lucid, one can ask for help with a problem in a dream before going to sleep and then accept what the dream offers. Setting a goal for a lucid dream actually serves as a type of dream induction.

When I led groups and workshops on the topic of lucid dreaming/lucid living, I usually ended each session with a guided visualization. After getting everyone still and relaxed, with their eyes closed, I would describe an imagined scene and activity that usually included a healing. This helps non-lucid dreamers get a sense for what can happen in a lucid dream.

Such non-dreaming techniques prove useful to lucid dreamers as well, because it helps to practice in waking physical reality what one would like to do in a dream. Many people actually believe that dream reality, in general, provides us with additional power because we seem more connected to our essence.

Before I discuss healing issues in general, I’d like to give you an example of a healing dream that I had last summer. A friend asked me to try to help her son, whom I’ll call Erin. Erin has Perthes disease, which does not allow blood to flow to his hip properly causing discomfort and difficulty participating in sports. I spoke to Erin and he agreed to my doing a dream healing for him in the near future.

First, using a suggestion from Ed Kellogg, I formulated a goal that I would attempt when I knew I was dreaming. I decided to chant a Harry Potter spell called "scourgify,” which roughly means, “clean up,” while pointing my index and middle fingers at Erin’s body.

I had the following dream on July 26, 2005. In this dream, I find myself standing in an open structure, which looks like a barn. I remember that I am dreaming. However, because Erin does not appear near me in the dream, I decide to do the healing actions as if he stands invisible in front of me, making this a practice session.

I point my index and middle fingers straight out in front of me and say "scourgify." I look at my fingers and see that a sticky, thick yellow liquid emanates from the pads of my fingers. I then put my fingers to my mouth in order to taste the yellow liquid. As I do this, the liquid turns green. Its consistency stays the same, and I do not notice any flavor. I have had several experiences in the past year where objects or substances turn green after a healing, almost as a sign of completion.

Next, in the dream, I see a group of children playing outside, and I decide to find Erin. I look around and call out his name. I find him in the middle of the group, who soon separate.

I say to him, "It's Beverly. I am here to do the dream healing we talked about." He acknowledges me, so I point my fingers toward his leg and say "scourgify." I have a clear intention for the best possible outcome. To make sure I have reached his hip, I repeat the process up and down his whole body.

At this point, I see that he has about a half dozen small holes all over his body. A dark-purple, watery, liquid squirts out of them. Thinking that this shows his blood flowing, I ask, "Why are you bleeding?" He says he'll have to consult the Ouija board. I feel surprised that he knows of Ouija boards. He says he used it when he was born.

I return to waking physical reality and have a series of false awakenings of both trying to record the dream and of calling Erin's Mom.

When I do call his Mom in the morning, I discover that her family had planned to leave town the next day for a month. I had been trying to attempt my healing goal for about a week. I describe my dream to Erin’s Mom, and she tells me that she has wondered if his disease might relate to blood problems he had at birth. Erin also mentioned his birth in my dream.

Erin’s Mom then asks him if he had any dreams. He reports that he dreamed he was in a video game, got hurt, and was instantly healed. One of the characters in the video game has the name "Luigi", which sounds almost exactly like "Ouija," the board mentioned in my dream.

Erin seemed to feel better after the healing because he did not ask for pain medicine during the next month, as he did in the months before the healing. Since then, his condition has improved and his doctors finally plan to let him get back into regular sports this Fall.

Did my healing attempt have an affect on Erin’s condition? Would he have improved at the same rate without it? I cannot say one way nor another, but I still feel pleased that I tried to help him.

To offer you more examples to consider, at the end of this presentation, I will briefly mention some of my other explorations in the healing potential of dreams. For now, I’d like to discuss some general issues concerning dream healing.  

The dictionary has many definitions for the word “heal:” To make sound or whole; to restore to health; and to cause an undesirable condition, which I will call a "problem," to be overcome.


I believe that what we dream or imagine can affect us physically. At the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, when I dreamed of moving my dream body’s eyes in a particular manner, electrodes picked up similar movement from my physical eyes. Many other people have also showed positive physical effects from active visualization. I, personally, have many examples where my life seemed positively affected by my dreams.


In certain cases, it might not best serve the subject of the healing to eliminate a problem. As an example, a doctor may not want to resuscitate a patient who asked ahead of time not to do so in certain situations, such as when they would only exist in a vegetative state.

Also, some problems exist as symptoms of other problems, which should, perhaps, get addressed first. For example, one may first want to learn to eat and exercise better before getting a "tummy tuck."

Therefore, when attempting a healing, we should always ask for the "best possible outcome." Many problems have several layers of complexity and may involve different aspects of our mind, body, and spirit.


We may want to heal an internal physical problem of ourselves or others, involving our organs, bones, muscles, nerves, or other functions, as in the example of Erin. However, we may want begin with simpler problems, such as a cut, burn, or wound. We can also consider emotional, mental, or spiritual problems, such as the pain of grief, depression, or of not seeming able to complete our goals, and thus not feeling whole.


We need to consider the ethics and rights of others during the healing process. Do we need another’s request or permission to try to heal them in our dreams, or for that matter in waking physical reality? While in a dream, do we ask the dream character for permission, or do we need to wait to ask the person represented after we wake up?

By the term dream “character,” I mean a type of dream “body” or “entity” that may or may not have a connection to a physical person. For example, I usually connect to the dream “character” that looks and acts like me.

What do we do if we’d like to heal our pet, a person who has died, or a more general situation, such as our country? With these cases we cannot easily ask the subject represented and necessarily expect an answer.

I feel that a healing may help, but only if the subject desires it. Therefore, I make sure the dream character, whom I attempt to heal, agrees to the healing.

When helping heal another person from my waking life, I usually ask permission of the person in the waking state before I decide to dream of the person. Discussing the healing with the person ahead of time also means that I can share my results with the person and determine any potential benefits from the healing. A dream character that I work with may or may not look exactly like the physical person I wish to heal, but I can usually recognize something about the character that seems the best match to the physical person in my dream.

For people concerned about possible ethical issues of mutual dreaming, I will try to explain what seems to happen for me. I sometimes ask others to come into my dream by having them take on the role of a character in my dream. This seems similar to how a director might ask actors to take on a role of a character in her play. The actors must accept responsibility for any extreme emotions or harm that their characters may experience in the play, which could have lingering effects on them after the play finishes.

I also may search for characters that I feel best represent the people I want to heal while dreaming.  When I look for specific dream characters, it feels as if I am attempting to take on the role of a character in someone else’s dream. I feel that the other person, serving as the director of their own dream, has the right to not accept me. In this case, I would probably not succeed in finding them. I would never try to force myself into another’s dream.


In dream healing, we can use various activities or props, including energy forms, such as sparks shooting from our fingertips at the subject of the healing, hands-on manipulation, chants, affirmations, potions, experts, or even alternative selves. Basically, we can use whatever we can imagine! However, some people feel that we should not make up techniques, such as chants, but use only historically proven or accepted techniques.

Other healing methods include asking to see the subject in perfect form in a dream, or just willing the problem away. Many times, merely having the subject face a scary situation or go directly into the pain in a dream can result in a fabulous healing. I will share a few of these examples toward the end of my presentation.

Sometimes, we may want to ask pertinent questions before going to sleep or in a lucid dream, about how the subject can best deal with his or her problem. In the dream, we may hear an answer spoken directly, or see it written on something, such as a book or a wall. Answers can also come indirectly through symbols, scenes, or activities.

For example, we could discover foods which we should or should not eat. We might find our dream body in a pool of warm water, which could mean that some form of heat or water therapy may help in physical reality.

We may want to ask an expert, or even a random person, in our dreams to assist in the healing. I feel that all dream characters represent, in part, aspects of our greater self, so anyone can have healing abilities in dreams.


Of course, a dream healing, as any kind of treatment, may only have a minor role in the healing process, or none at all. How we measure the effect of a healing becomes another area of investigation. The results may vary depending upon: the receptiveness of the subject; the ability, intent, and focus of the healer; the condition to heal; the appropriateness of the techniques; and many other variables.


When I assist others to heal in my dreams, I feel that I also heal, or experience more wholeness, myself because I view all my dream characters as representing aspects of my greater self. At the same time, I feel that the characters in my dreams can, potentially, have a connection to other people and therefore help these people as well.

One time, while in the sleep lab, I asked another dream character to move his eyes. The results on the polygraph showed movement in my physical eyes. This made me wonder if characters other than the one we seem to take on also have a connection to our physical bodies.


I realize that the possibility exists where one may adversely affect dream characters, and hence their possible physical counterparts, while attempting a dream healing. However, I  think that this can happen only if the subject allows it.

I also believe that, potentially, anyone can tap into positive energy, or what we might call “love” or “God,” when attempting a dream healing. Therefore, I see interactive dream healing as a form of “prayer.”

I see “evil,” not as a separate force, but merely as the absence of love. Therefore, someone might not have the ability to heal, but this does not mean that they can tap into evil in order to intentionally cause harm.


As I said at the start of this presentation, I have used my dreams to better myself, as well as others, in many ways all my life, without formally calling it dream healing. I will now summarize some other dreams that you may or may not have heard me speak about in the past.

As a child, I helped end the suffering that came from my nightmares by facing up to "the witches" in my first lucid dream. The witches still looked terrifying while I said, "Let’s get this over with," without fear because I knew I was dreaming. After this dream, my witch nightmares ceased.

As an adolescent, I felt less inhibited by trying out frightening or embarrassing situations initially in my dreams. When my best friend died, I dealt with my grief by talking to her in my dreams.

I started doing formal lucid dream healings almost twenty-five years ago. Dr. Stephen LaBerge, from the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, suggested that I try rubbing my hands together and shooting out healing energy from my fingers to my neck when I complained of a stiff neck one night in the lab.

At the time, we were doing an experiment for Smithsonian Magazine. I remember that sparks shot out from my fingers in my dream, but then my hair caught on fire. I spent the dream trying to put out the fire. The reporters got a good example of losing lucidity in a dream!

I later asked others in my dreams to work on my neck. One time, I asked a janitor, the first person I saw in an elevator, to rub my neck. This action seemed to help my neck afterwards in waking physical reality.

I often shot healing sparks at my dog in dreams to avoid any old-age problems she might encounter. She lived a very long and happy life for her breed. I did the same for my Mom while she lived and after she died, when she appeared to me in a dream as needing some healing.  Recently, I added more techniques to my healing repertoire, such as chants.

In my twenties, I solved a writer’s block in a dream by letting myself get sucked into the "pit from hell." Afterwards, I felt able to complete my Ph.D. in waking physical reality.

To help me with the frustration of finding a mate in my thirties, I found my alternative selves in a dream and listened to their advice.

In my forties, when I felt devastated about not getting pregnant in waking physical reality, I worked on the issue in my dreams by pulling my creative force, the witches of my childhood dreams, into my body. Soon afterwards, I had my son, now a healthy eleven-year-old boy, whose birthday is today! For the record, “Happy Birthday Adrian!”
In the year 2000, my mother had a sudden, massive stroke, and I became faced with taking her off life support. I dealt with my extreme grief in my dreams, in part, by surrendering to my now familiar "witches."

With minor injuries, I try to get optimum healing through actions in my dreams. My dreams told me that a second degree burn I received last summer needed to heal slowly. To assist the healing in my dreams, I chanted a "Harry Potter" spell, similar to the one from my dream for Erin, and spontaneously shot yellow liquid at my burn site. The area appeared to get much better afterwards in physical reality.

I will give one last detailed example of an interactive healing dream. In waking physical reality, on Monday, March 7, 2005, I went in for a routine, annual gynecological exam. During the exam, my doctor found that I had an "expanded uterus." He immediately did an ultrasound test and determined that I had: "both a large cyst and a mass that looked like it might be a tumor." He told me to return when I got my period to do another ultrasound test to see if my condition changed.

I decided that I would try to have a lucid dream about my condition. This time, instead of just zapping my uterus, I wanted to understand more about why the situation occurred.

As a goal for my next lucid dream, I chose to ask some questions. I wanted to know precisely: "What message does this condition want me to know?" and "What can I do about it?" I also felt open to any healing that would occur naturally in my dreams. I finally had some lucid dreams on Monday morning March 14th.

I got answers to some of my questions in my earliest dreams. In my dream of 6:45 am,  I experienced a very direct healing.

In this dream, my nine-year-old son and I find ourselves in a camp-like setting. We look for a bathroom and can only find an odd one.

Standing outside, we notice these huge geometric figures in five different colors hovering and circling over us in the sky. They seem as large as ocean liners. A turquoise colored one comes closest to me. It has the shape of two candy dishes pressed together. They all seemed to shoot a kind of energy on me which I experience as a healing. I become very relaxed and open to taking in this invisible energy. I would describe it best as a type of heat.

My son seems scared, but I tell him not to worry. I explain, "They came to heal me!" Afterwards, we go back to the strange bathroom, which apparently now works.

In the last dream of this night, I find my childhood home getting rebuilt. Later, I discover that it did get rebuilt in waking physical reality around the time of the dream.

At 2:45 pm that same day, I went back to see my doctor. He did another ultrasound test searching for the cyst and the mass, but they did not exist anymore. He found my uterus "no longer expanded, but completely normal and healthy." One year later, my uterus still remains normal.

Although these dreams had a powerful effect on me emotionally and physically, I can not say for certain what part they played objectively in my healing. Even so, I believe that they played a large part in my healing experience, and I feel very grateful that I had them.

You can find the details of these examples and more on my website:

I now welcome any questions that you may have. Keep in mind that I will also speak tomorrow on the PSI dreaming panel at 2:15 pm in the auditorium, where I will discuss, for the first time in public, some of my precognitive dreams, which I also consider very healing experiences.

Thank you.