My name is Joshua Black and my research interest is in the area of grief dreams, with a special focus on dreams of the deceased. I am one of the leading researchers in this field, which I still find shocking. The issue is that no one has really focused their research career on the topic, and because of that it has been unexplored. I first investigated this area while in my Master’s of Arts program at Trent University. My thesis examined themes and personal meaning on dreams of the deceased. I am currently in the PhD program (Psychology) at Brock University continuing to investigate grief dreams (will be done Fall 2018). I have published scientific literature in this area and for the last 7 years provided one-on-one and group support to the bereaved. I continue to spread knowledge about this area through talks and workshops (to the bereaved and those who work with them). Additionally, I was the chairman and host of the Children's Grief Awareness Event held at Brock University in 2016 and 2017.
I hope the information found here can assist the bereaved by normalizing their experience and reduce any isolation they may feel. In addition, I hope that those who assist the bereaved can reduce the biases associated with dreams and explore the healing that can be found within these experiences.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH GRIEF DREAMS
My father passed away suddenly and 3 months later I had my first dream. It had a different feeling than my other dreams. We were together in my room and I had the chance to say good-bye. I told him that I loved him and would miss him. It was short, but when I woke up I felt something had changed within me. I continued to have dreams every 3 or 4 months after that, which were very comforting. Shortly after, I began providing one-on-one bereavement support and the topic of dreams was common. People had questions regarding their dreaming and I was unable to find answers. What I found is that bereavement research has overlooked the topic of dreams, and therefore there is little understanding about them. I was given the opportunity to explore this gap in the literature for my Master’s degree. I am now at Brock University continuing to research this area for my PhD (in my last year).
PUBLICATIONS ON GRIEF DREAMS
Black, J., Belicki, K., & Emberley-Ralph, J. (Submitted). Who Dreams of the Deceased? The Roles of Dream Recall, Grief Intensity, Attachment, and Openness to Experience. Dreaming.
Black, J., DeCicco, T., Seeley, C., Murkar, A., Black, J., & Fox, P. (2016). Dreams of the Deceased: Can Themes be Reliably Coded? International Journal of Dream Research, 9(2), 110-114.
Black, J., & Stapleford, D. (2016). Dreaming of Owl. Self Published.
Black, J. (2015). Dreams in bereavement. Bereavement Ontario Network Newsletter (February Edition).
Black, J. (2014). Dreams in Bereavement: Examining themes, content, and meaning of dreams that contain imagery of the deceased. Saarbrucken, Deutschland/Germany: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing
Black, J., Murkar, A., & Black, J. (2014). Examining the healing process through dreams in bereavement. Sleep and Hypnosis, 16, 10-17. http://sleepandhypnosis.org/ing/archivelist.aspx?SayiID=55
Black, J. (2013). Examining dreams, dream content, and meaning of dreams in bereavement (Master's thesis). Trent University, Oshawa, ON
In the Media
Newspaper Articles (feat. Joshua Black)
- Grief Dreams Can Offer Path for Faster Healing (The Chilliwack Progress - Jan. 22, 2018) https://www.theprogress.com/community/grief-dreams-can-offer-path-for-faster-healing/
- Grief Network Niagara hosts Children's Grief Awareness Event at Brock (feat. Joshua Black and Melissa Penner) (The Brock Press - November 15, 2016) - http://www.brockpress.com/2016/11/grief-network-niagara-hosts-childrens-grief-awareness-event-at-brock/
- Niagara Closeup: Study Explores Grief Dreams (feat. Joshua Black) (Front page in The St. Catharines Standard - Aug. 26, 2016) - http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2016/08/25/niagara-closeup-study-explores-grief-dreams
- Uncovering the world of grief dreams (feat. Joshua Black) (Front page in The Welland Tribune - Aug. 26, 2016).
- Uncovering powerful world of grief dreams (feat. Joshua Black) (Front page in The Niagara Falls Review - Aug. 26, 2016).
- Dreams of the Dead (feat. Joshua Black) (Hamilton Mountain News - March 30, 2016) - http://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/6409855-dreams-of-the-dead/
- A Connection to Another Realm (feat. Joshua Black) (Niagara This Week - March 27, 2016) - http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/6404795-a-connection-to-another-realm/
Selected Podcast Interviews (feat. Joshua Black)
- Coming Back: Conversations on life after loss with Shelby Forsythia (Jan. 17, 2018 - Episode 31) - http://www.shelbyforsythia.com/podcast/31
- Dealing with My Grief Podcast with host Darwyn Dave (March 1, 2017 - Episode 55) - http://www.dealingwithmygrief.com
Selected Video Interview (feat. Joshua Black)
- Grief Resilience with Sheaya Biddle - Facebook Live video discussion (Feb. 16, 2018) - https://youtu.be/JAka3WC8wrM