Lying in bed and trying to sleep is extremely frustrating when it does not occur naturally. You obsessively glare at the clock as you calculate how many hours until the alarm goes off, hoping you can force yourself to sleep. You toss and turn as you think about the next day, worrying more and more that you will be uncomfortable and won’t be able to get things done. Your mind races with conversations from the day past, tomorrow’s anticipated interactions, worry about unfinished projects and racking your brain for things you may have missed.
Dr. Samantha Gaies and Dr. Karolina Pekala are Licensed Clinical Psychologists who combine hypnosis, mindfulness, interpersonal techniques, and CBT to help people suffering from insomnia. Relying on modern research in insomnia, they have developed an integration of hypnosis and therapy that is both flexible and evidence-based. Our therapists have trained extensively in mindfulness meditation, self-compassion theories and practice, hypnosis, and acceptance-based techniques, and use this combined experience to help clients overcome their struggles with sleeping.
When people think of insomnia, they often assume it involves being up all night without getting any sleep. But since most people vary in how much sleep they need from night to night, insomnia is not defined by how long it takes to fall asleep nor the number of hours of sleep. Instead, insomnia relates to the distress and day-to-day impairment as a result of one or more of the following: having trouble falling asleep, difficulty remaining asleep through the night, waking too early, or getting only nonrestorative sleep, which leaves people feeling irritated, groggy, drained, or distracted the next day.
When people toss and turn most evenings, constantly wake throughout the night or early morning, or do not feel refreshed the next morning even after sleeping enough, they may notice worsened mood, diminished desire to spend time with friends and family, change in appearance, nonexistent energy level, and a lack of ability to concentrate. In other words, a lack of sleep can affect almost every aspect of a person’s life. To make things worse, as people become more preoccupied with their lack of sleep, they may become more frustrated, which then impacts their sleep even more.
Research demonstrates that treating insomnia without medication can be achieved through techniques such as hypnosis, mindfulness, and CBT. Our clinicians use hypnotic and mindfulness techniques combined with CBT for Insomnia to increase both the quality and quantity of sleep, and to address underlying reasons for insomnia. Clients will acquire new skills to change their sleep habits in order to get more sleep, learn ways to reach a more relaxed state to enjoy a better quality of sleep, and increase their daily functioning to get back to being the person they were before the insomnia began. Our therapists also use interpersonal exploration to help uncover the underlying reasons for insomnia in order to prevent future bouts of sleeplessness and help decrease negative emotions (e.g., depression, anxiety, or irritability).
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