What is it about?

Media reports on military trials in dream therapy to treat soldiers with PTSD draw upon popular science fiction movies to explain the potential of new technology and alternate therapies. This paper examines this media coverage and use of science fiction to convey the potential of innovative psychiatry in military medicine to heal the minds of soldiers adversely affected by war. The article also argues how, through the image of the salvageable and, therefore, invincible soldier, rehabilitation medicine ultimately underpins a U.S. warring culture.

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Why is it important?

The article is pathfinding because it raises the issues of technoculture and military culture which are novel within cultural psychiatry.


The article is interdisciplinary and is aimed at a broad readership from health professionals working within the field of rehabilitation medicine to the lay person interested in popular representations and discussions of military related health matters. The hope is that the article will raise awareness of the implications of medicine to normalise war through the ongoing ability to rehabilitate and heal the bodies and minds of the U.S. soldier.

Susan Smith
Beauchamp College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Rehabilitating the mind: Avatar (2009), Inception (2010) and the science fiction imagining of lucid dreaming in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in the U.S. military, Transcultural Psychiatry, February 2020, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1363461520901638.
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