Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, often shortened to CBT, can be used to treat many conditions with the potential of short-term relief of many symptoms. Insomnia is one such condition, and there’s even an entire form of CBT that is devoted to it, called CBT-I (unsurprisingly). Insomnia is a reality for many people living in a society filled with stress and anxiety. With having to meet tight deadlines and be as productive as possible, it’s no wonder we’re losing sleep.
The problem with insomnia is that we can feel unable to sleep even when we WANT to sleep. This is unbelievably frustrating. We might try an antihistamine which only makes us feel tired the next day and doesn’t always work. Plus, it only works when we take it.
CBT-I (CBT for Insomnia) promotes multiple strategies to help combat problems with sleep. One of the main tools is Sleep Restriction Therapy, which instructs clients to not go to bed until late in the evening and to not take any afternoon naps. The client is told to write a sleep diary so as to keep track of their sleep patterns. What ends up happening is that over time, usually a series of a few weeks at a minimum, people find out through their journals what contributes to their sleep difficulties and also start to go to bed earlier as they were able to sleep better and better with the sleep restriction therapy.
So, the journal writing kept track of how well the person slept and the sleep restriction therapy led to better quality sleep. With the collaboration of the therapist, you’re able to discover more of what might be contributing to your insomnia that you didn’t realize before. In addition, the therapist can work with you, especially with the journals to see how the sleep restriction helps your sleep patterns as well.
CBT is an evidence-based treatment, and so is CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I). This means the treatment has been empirically-validated in multiple studies, which demonstrates efficacy in multiple trials with patients.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, please do not hesitate to give me a call! We can work on this issue together and I’m confident we can resolve it. It’ll take work but we’ll collaboratively set goals so you finally get a restful night of sleep on a regular basis!
Way back in graduate school, I wrote a paper on how sex toys could help alleviate internalized gay shame. I continue to see how it improves the lives of clients who try it at home on their own or with their partners. This internalized gay shame is something all gay men experience and can often not be realized until it is brought up and named. It’s the result of interpreting messages all our lives, from our childhood, adolescence, and adulthood about how being gay or a member of the LGBTQ community is not normal. As LGBTQ individuals, as we grow up, we often do not understand why we feel so different from others, and the other people we know don’t either. The result is growing up feeling isolated and ashamed for not fitting in with others. We may know we are gay, but having a different identity than most or all of the people who know makes us feel like outsiders. The question for us becomes, why must we feel this way? Then we question whether we are acceptable not only others but ourselves as well.
This questioning and fear can lead us to be afraid of approaching sex and intimacy in any deep way. We suffer from a self-neglect and shame. Thankfully, we can work through the shame and guilt by becoming more comfortable with ourselves at our own pace. Through exploring our bodies, we not only begin to trust ourselves in regards to sexual experience and learn about our bodies, but we also learn more about the erotic piece of ourselves that we put away in shame.
This translates to more confidence with our partners and more satisfaction in the bedroom. Because we have learned more about what we want, we can incorporate that knowledge to make sex better for us.
I’m so honored to have had my blog entry on intersecting oppression published at TherapyDen. You can check it out here: https://www.therapyden.com/blog/working-with-lgbtq-and-hard-of-hearing-clients-from-the-perspective-of-a-hard-of-hearing-and-gay-therapist
As a hard-of-hearing therapist (Don’t worry, I’ll hear everything you say!), I offer therapy for hard-of-hearing individuals as well as parents and family members who are struggling with tough decisions. Are you being told what to do and not sure what action to take? Schedule a free consultation to learn more!
Do you have times when you wish you could talk to your therapist virtually? I offer encrypted video therapy for you! You can feel free to use video therapy for all of your sessions, some, or none!
Therapy is conducted in confidential settings, just like in the office!