Tag Archive: cbt

Jun 14

Chronic Insomnia Treatments

chronic insomnia treatments

A recent study confirms that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for chronic insomnia and is often more effective than medications. “What surprises us is that there isn’t more awareness of this treatment’s effectiveness and that there haven’t been more attempts to make the treatment more available to patients,” James M. Trauer of the Melbourne Sleep …

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Mar 27

Insomnia Treatment Reduces Brain Stress

Insomnia Treatment

Insomnia treatment may have long-term beneficial effects on the health of your brain. Study in the Journal Biological Psychiatry published in February, 2015 looked at 123 older adults with chronic insomnia who were randomized to one of two active treatments (twice-weekly cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) for 4 months or a relaxation therapy) or …

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Feb 25

CBT for Insomnia Reduces Suicidal Thoughts

CBT for Insomnia

CBT for insomnia (CBTi) is clearly preferable to taking sleeping medications for most people. Studies show that cognitive behavioral therapy is associated with greater improvements in sleep quality than sleeping medications, and that those improvements are more durable, and, particularly in the elderly, sleeping medications are associated with significant adverse effects, including an increase in mortality. But …

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Nov 07

PTSD Psychotherapy Affects Gene Activity

  Mind-body dualism seems alive and well in the land of mental health. I am still surprised how often someone will say, “well that’s not a biological depression.” Meaning that it is the kind of depression that can be understood as a result of events in that person’s life, or that it can be treated …

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Sep 07

Therapy or Medications for Depression?

A new study published in the most prestigious psychiatric journal (JAMA Psychiatry – see reference below) strongly suggests that a brain scan might be able to help people decide whether therapy or medications are more likely to treat their depression. As background, although some people feel that for more severe depression medications are more effective, …

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Aug 15


Proactive behavior refers to actions taken that are forward thinking, that anticipate future problems, and are aimed at avoiding those problems. They are focused on changing the environment for the better. Proactivity contrasts with reactivity as an approach to challenges. Reactive behavior is about dealing with the crisis that is present right now. Reactivity also often …

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Nov 14

Depression: “I Can’t Do This”

One of the things that we spend a lot of time thinking about is the “I can’t do that” process. How it is that someone can’t get out of bed, or take a shower, or any number of other things… It is actually a step forward often when the other person says, “I can’t do …

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Oct 22

Should or Could?

The idea for today’s post comes from a wonderful online resource for folks with moods –  MoodScope.com (they have an interesting mood tracker app and blog). They wrote about the power of changing a single word in one’s thoughts – going from I should do something, or I should have done something, to I could …

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Oct 11


We have been blessed to work with many very, very intelligent people over the years. It always stimulates us to have smart people ask challenging questions about the work that we do. One of the common complaints of smart people in therapy is: my therapist isn’t telling me anything I don’t already know. We used …

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Sep 20

Therapy and Curling

Therapists are like the sweepers in the winter olympic sport of curling. Curling, for those who are not intrigued by the sport,  involves hurling a heavy sphere down an icy lane (like a frozen bowling lane) with the goal of landing in a particular spot. What really makes the sport odd is the addition of …

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Sep 19

Insomnia: Counting Sheep

Maybe Grandma was right. After all of the years of research and development trying to find medications to help with insomnia, we ran across a recently published paper which suggested that a single session devoted to teaching people with chronic insomnia to focus their attention on some idea, image, song, memory, that was not associated …

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Sep 18

Self Confirming Beliefs

There are dangerous ideas that can shape an entire life. Ideas that suggest that “no one will ever really love me” or “if I tell someone what I want they will leave me” or even “I can’t trust anyone.” These ideas may not have much basis in fact, they may have been handed to us …

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Jun 25

Endless Worry: Books to Help Manage It

Sometimes life circumstances, or our own mood, conspire to lead us into a state of endless worry. We never seem to be able to figure anything out, and the anxiety makes it increasingly difficult to get anything done. One strategy that we often recommend is to schedule worry time. It sounds crazy, but putting aside …

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Jun 03


Anxiety often goes hand in hand with mood cycles. In fact, for some people anxiety is a bigger problem than depression. But the types of treatment that can help with anxiety are often different than the types that help with extreme moods. For one thing, psychotherapy is generally more effective for anxiety than medications. And …

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Jun 01

MoodSurfing ™ 101 : Depression – Video Included

Part of the preparation for this site has been a lot of thinking about “what works” to help people live better lives with their moods. The most common problem people ask for help about is depression. We spent a few days looking through the clinical literature to identify non-medication options to improve depression. Then we …

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