A Psychologist’s Review of “Inception”
Shelby Harris, Psy.D., C.BSM is Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Neurology as well as Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A graduate of Brown University, Dr. Harris received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University.
As a licensed psychologist, Dr. Harris specializes in behavioral sleep medicine and CBT for anxiety and depression. She has published and presented research on the neuropsychological effects of insomnia in older adults as well as behavioral treatments for insomnia, parasomnias, narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness. Dr. Harris is also a consultant for the New York Times "Consults Blog."
Question: Did you see “Inception”?
Shelby Harris: I haven’t. I have a five-and-a-half month old at home, so I’ve barely seen any movies recently. But I’ve heard a lot about it, yeah.
Question: What have your colleagues thought about the movie?
Shelby Harris: It’s interesting. I haven’t heard a lot of colleagues who have seen it yet. But the few people I have, they – it’s an interesting movie. I think anything about sleep is interesting. It’s just what I do for a living, but there’s the notion that you can change your dreams, you can invade people’s dreams. I think it’s much more of a sci-fi futuristic way of thinking about it. But it does touch upon things that we can do nowadays. So if you really want to dream about something at night, if you think about it a lot and you have – you think about it right before you go to bed, you’re going to increase your chances of dreaming about it. So there are – it’s interesting in that it takes what we do and what we know to a much more extreme measure. And that’s what I kind of like about the theory behind it, about the movie.
Controlling other people’s dreams may be science fiction, but there are ways to control our own dreams, Harris says.
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