Josie Malinowski
Lecturer in psychology

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: The Return of Suppressed Emotions & Memories in Altered States of Consciousness

Similarities between psychedelic experiences and the REM sleep dream state may assist us in understanding how both can have therapeutic (emotion-processing) effects. Two of their similarities in particular may be enlightening: 1) they can bring forth the return of suppressed / unprocessed emotions, thoughts, or memories (particularly those that are dark or difficult); 2) they involve the brain entering an intensely interconnected neurochemical state (i.e. the “entropic” or hyperassociative brain). Re-experiencing suppressed emotions within this hyperconnected brain state may be what gives rise to the therapeutic effect of both psychedelics and REM sleep dreams.

Josie Malinowski is an oneirologist (dream researcher) and oneironaut (dream explorer). She conducts academic and personal experiments investigating the secrets, patterns, meanings, absurdities, profundities, joys, and terrors of dreams. She holds a PhD in oneirology, and is currently employed as a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of East London. Her academic research projects mainly investigate the nature and possible functions of sleep/dreaming. On a personal level, she is interested in the more enigmatic aspects of dreaming such as dream lucidity. In her spare time she is also preparing her book "The Psychology of Dreaming" which is due to be released by Routledge in 2019.