Tossing and turning, counting sheep, and even pacing the floors are not activities that you would hope your bedtime would be filled with. Unfortunately, this is the reality for a lot of people. In fact, the Sleep Health Foundation states that at least one out of every three people suffers with some level of insomnia. If you are a member of the sleepless crowd, chances are you will try just about anything to help you sleep--from taking over-the-counter medications to visiting your doctor for a prescription. However, the real solution to your insomnia could lie in the counseling provided by a good psychotherapist.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is simply a broad term for psychological treatment and counseling. Treatment typically involves talking with a trained professional in the field, whether it is a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health counselor. When it comes to psychotherapy for insomnia-related problems, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist who is also skilled in mental health counseling, or vice versa.
What techniques will be used in counseling for insomnia?
Most psychotherapists will use some form of cognitive-behavioral therapy when they are treating a patient for insomnia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, sometimes called CBT, is a more traditional approach to psychological treatment in which a trained professional will meet with you on a regular basis to discuss your problems with sleep patterns and work with you to help change the undesirable response of not being able to fall asleep. Because CBT is a short-term treatment approach, clear goals of what you need to accomplish with your sleep patterns and cycles will be outlined in the beginning.
How does psychotherapy help with insomnia?
Psychotherapy can help with insomnia because insomnia is often relative to emotional stressors, such as general forms of anxiety or even depression. The therapist will likely meet with you on a weekly or biweekly basis, instruct you to keep a diary of your sleeping patterns, and help you find environmental factors that may be interrupting your natural need to sleep. However, they will also provide counseling sessions to go over emotional factors and work with you to track down emotional triggers of insomnia that you may not even realize are a problem.
If you struggle with insomnia, it can interfere with every factor of your day-to-day life. It is always best to seek help beyond just medicinal treatment, so getting in touch with a psychotherapist, like Caroline B. Goldberg, LCSW, LLC, concerning your insomnia is always a good idea.