Demon subpersonality in nightmares

As some may know I have spent a number of years researching what Eric Berne originally called the demon. As he write here.

Berne writing Demon 2

Ways I have conceptualised the demon in personality

Demon conceptualized

To my knowledge only Berne and Childs-Gowell have written anything on this part of the personality. I recently came across a TAJ article written by Novellino (called The shadow and the demon) who has also written a bit on the demon and how it can relate to night mares. Here is some of the material covered

The demon in nightmares 

Nightmares are the undesirable emergence of desires, thoughts and impulses repressed by the dreamer into the unconscious

This is the equivalent to the resurfacing of the shadow (Jung)

The nightmare is a attempt to provide a psychological balance when the repressed material is being too rigidly held onto

Some of the repressed desires and urges are shown in Berne’s description of the demon in us. What I have called the demon subpersonality.

Approaches to dealing with the symptoms of nightmares:

Interpret the monsters in the dream


Guide the patient to create a new ending or reorient it.


(End article)

Lillith can be seen as the archetype of the demon subpersonality


I have suggested a different approach to those listed above to dealing with the demon and that is to engage with it in the relational. 

This opens up interesting ideas in dealing with dreams by relational engagement  with the different characters in dreams, scary and not scary.

Also using the clients reports of nightmares to identify the demon subpersonality in them.


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