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Sadistically abused dreams, reoccurring for numerous years

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My Girlfriend of 3 years had told me of her dreams. She wants me to help her solve the issues of her nightmares. She dreams of a dark figured man sexually abusing her in sadistic manor. And over the years, it has turned her into a masochist. She has had these dreams since she was 8 or younger I believe. She also mentioned that she has memorized the positions from 1 – 13, and that saying position ____ would trigger her memory. I read somewhere that it could be a radical level of hormones, or something strange like that. What do you think of it to be?

Sadistically abused dreams, reoccurring for numerous years

Answered by on -


First of all I am glad that you have the kind of relationship with your girlfriend that has enough trust at the foundation to allow her to talk to you about something so difficult. Your job in this process is to realize you may be activating reactions in her that you were not aware of.

But so far as helping her — this is an issue that should be managed by a professional, particularly a professional with experience in trauma. You can check the find help tab at the top of the page to find someone in your country who is qualified. Beyond that I would recommend you help your girlfriend talk to a therapist trained in EMDR, a type of therapy that deals with traumatic reactions.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Sadistically abused dreams, reoccurring for numerous years

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Sadistically abused dreams, reoccurring for numerous years. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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