Below are answers to common questions to save you some time.
How Do You Help Me With My Sleep Problems?
As a trained specialist in behavioral sleep medicine I help people with chronic sleep problems by using research-based techniques. I specialize in a type of treatment that is highly effective for insomnia called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
“I Don’t Need Therapy, I Just Need Help Sleeping”
There are many types of psychotherapy, many of which do not involve talking about childhood or the past. CBT-I is easier to understand as a program to get your sleep back on track than as psychotherapy.
This program is specifically designed to address the underlying problems that comes with chronic sleep struggles. When I work with people, my approach is to work in a way that emphasizes learning & practicing new skills. It’s a more ‘hands on’ approach rather than ‘just talking about’ the problem.
Is This Right For Me?
CBT-I treatment for your insomnia might be a good fit for you if you…
- Have chronic problems with clinically significant insomnia
- Prefer not to take sleep medication (or less of it)
- Cannot tolerate the side effects of sleep medication
- Sleep medication isn’t working for you
- Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are nursing (and would like to sleep without medication)
- Are experiencing a high degree of stress and would like to learn to use more effective coping skills
- Have other issues with sleep (like sleep apnea) and are having problems with sleep
How Long Does Treatment Last?
Treatment length depends on the how severe & complicated your sleep problems are. Just like seeing a medical doctor. The process typically happens in this way…
- Meet for an initial evaluation to determine if CBT-I is likely to help you
- Meet in 1 week to start treatment
- Meet 2-4 more weekly appointments in order to track how your sleep is changing
- Start to meet less often over time as your body begins to learn how to sleep again
My general rule of thumb is to plan for about 6-8 sessions. Some typical complicating factors that make treatment take longer for some people are issues such as:
- problems with high anxiety or significant depression
- other sleep disorders
- substance abuse
- chronic pain
What If I Have Insomnia AND Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain and insomnia often go together. Research also indicates that problems with sleep can make pain worse, which then can make the problems with sleep worse. This causes a vicious cycle where people become much more sensitive to the pain that won’t go away and less able to function because they are so tired. Treatment for insomnia can help break up this cycle and improve the quality of your life. In some cases individuals with chronic pain that participated in CBT-I treatment led to improvements in BOTH their sleep and pain levels.
If you would like to do some extended work to learn new skills to more effectively handle your chronic pain I can refer you to a specialist in this area.
What If I Have Insomnia AND Depression?
Research has shown that people struggling with depression that get treatment for depression and insomnia at the same time are 5 times more likely to eliminate insomnia and twice as likely to eliminate depression. So, no need to wait until your depression is better in order to start getting your sleep problems addressed.
Is Now the Right Time?
If CBT-I is a good match for you to get your sleep back in order you also need to consider if now is a good time for you.
You will want to wait to work on your sleep when you will have the ability to meet for at least 3 weeks in a row to get your sleep program going.
Do You Accept Insurance?
Yes. My office can take care of all the billing services for your insurance.
If I am an out-of-network provider, you may be able to use your out-of-network benefits on your insurance plan.
Also, if I am not in-network with your insurance you also may be able to arrange a ‘single case agreement’ exception with your insurance provider as there are not many experts who offer evidenced-based, non-medication treatment of insomnia. In order to see if you can arrange this, you will need to call your insurance company and request their approval.
The only insurance I am not approved to work with is Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan.
If you are not sure if you can afford treatment, send me a message and we can find out an estimate for you.
If you are not clear on your insurance benefits you can call your insurance company and ask them this: “Can you explain to me the difference in my in-network and my out-of-network benefits for mental health?”
Make sure you get the following information addressed…
- What are my in-network and my out-of-network benefits for mental health?
- What is the amount of my deductible, how much of it have I met already & when does it reset for the year?
- Do I have separate deductibles for my in-network and my out-of-network benefits?
- Do I need pre-authorization for in-network or out-of-network providers?
How Do I Start?
Our first step is to schedule an initial consultation in order to evaluate the details of your sleep problems.
When we schedule your initial consultation I will encourage you to also schedule 3 other weekly appointments following your initial consultation appointment. This is done for your benefit so that you can get the times that work best for you. These appointments can be cancelled if they will not be needed or if you decide not to continue with the treatment.