Research

I have been conducting research for nearly 20 years with a focus on two major areas of work: Dreams and Spiritual Psychology.

In terms of Dreams and Dreaming, I began my inquiry into this area while working with cancer patients who were coping with serious illness.  In the course of discussions with patients, I noticed a repeating pattern of specific imagery in their dreams.  Patients who had the same type of cancer seemed to have similar imagery while others had yet a different series of dreams.  Moreover, important aspects of treatment and waking day concerns were also reflected in their dreams.  While wanting to know exactly what was happening during sleeptime for these patients, I began a long quest to know more about the dreaming mind.

This inquiry led me to investigate dreams in cancer patients, pain patients, recovering addicts, soldiers, people in relationships (e.g. DeCicco, T.L. & Higgins, H.,2009, DeCicco, T.L.,  Lyons, T., Pannier, Wright. C. & Clarke, J., 2010, Clarke, J., DeCicco, T.L., & Navara, G. 2010) and other groups of individuals coping with waking day stressors.  This work also led me to design and develop dream interpretation tools so dreamers could find meaning in their dreams and link this to their own waking lives in meaningful ways (DeCicco, T, L. 2007, DeCicco, T.L., Barcaro, U., & Murkar, A., 2012).  These tools have since been published in many languages and are used all over the world  (DeCicco, T.L., Donati, D., & Pini, M., 2012, DeCicco, T.L., Zanasi, M., Dale, A., Longo, G., Testoni F., & Murkar, A., 2012-2013).

Closely tied to finding meaning in one’s life is the notion of Spiritual Psychology. This is the process of finding personal and private meaning of life and death within one’s self.  This sense of spirituality can be within religious doctrine or not.  This area of research also led me and a colleague to design and develop a model and measure of self-reference coined The Metapersonal Self (DeCicco, T.L. & Stroink, M.L.,2007).  This is a self-reference where people define their identity in terms of being connected to all things in the cosmos.  This body of research has also grown to invesitgations in many areas relating to The Metapersonal Self concept (Arnocky, S. Stroink, M.L. & DeCicco, T.L., 2007, Mara, C., DeCicco, T.L., & Stroink, M.L.,2010).  Interest in the notion that spirituality is separate from religion has also had notable interest around the world (DeCicco, T.L., 2007) and hence, The Metapersonal Scale has been published in many languages.

I present my research to colleagues and professionals around the globe each year in order to share knowledge with the academic and clinical communities.  A sample of my presentations appear here:

DeCicco, T.L. (2015). Living Beyond the Five Senses Workshop.  2-Hour Workshop presented to CAIET. Victoria, BC, Canada.

DeCicco, T.L. (2015). Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Unfolding Mystery of Dreams-Science or Spirituality?   Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Conference of the  International Association for The Study of Dreams, Virginia Beach, Virgiania, USA.

DeCicco, T.L. (2015). Research Panel. Research Experience and Mentorship.  Feeding Their Fire: Getting Graduate Students Engaged in Dream Research.  Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Conference of the  International Association for The Study of Dreams, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.

Miller, N. & DeCicco, T.L. Fox, P. (2014). Assessing the Effects of Brief Interventions on Mood and Dream Imagery in Recovering Alcoholics and Drug Addicts.  Paper presented at the 31st Annual Conference of the  International Association for The Study of Dreams, Berkeley, CA.

DeCicco, T.L., Dale, A., Miller, N., Black, J. & Murkar, A. (2013). Symposium: Dreams, meaning and Neurophysiology. Symposium in preparation for the 30th Annual Conference of the  International Association for The Study of Dreams, Virginia Beach, Virgiania, USA.

DeCicco, T.L., Barcaro, U., & Murkar, A. (2012). A cognitive model explaining the      psychophysiological system responsible for the effectiveness of The Storytelling            Method of   Dream Interpretation. Poster presented at the International Organization            of Psychophysiology. Pisa, Italy.