The medical definition of insomnia is a when you have experienced problems going to sleep, staying asleep or waking too early and it affects your daytime functioning or causes distress AND it has been going on for at least 3 or more nights a week for over 3 months. Your sleep is disturbed despite you having enough opportunity to get sleep and it cannot be explained by any other mental or physical condition.
You may experience a combination of sleep disturbances. I would suggest that if you have been experiencing sleep problems like this for 2 months or more, it is worth seeking help. Temporary sleep disruption, for example, due to illness, grief or a stressful event, should only last around a month or so. Longer than that and you may have a more chronic (that is, on going) problem.
CBTi stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia. It is a specialised approach to insomnia using cognitive and behavioural tools. These tools (or approaches) work on changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviours which are at the root of insomnia.
CBTi has been around for about 40 years and has lots of good quality research to show it works. So much so, that it is the recommended first-line approach to insomnia by the NHS (UK), the American Academy of Sleep Medicine & the American Psychological Association (USA), and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (Australia).
During our work together, we would look together at what you think, what you do and how that effects to your sleep.
CBTi tools are an integral part of my Menoinsomnia® coaching programme (together with mindfulness, hypnotherapy and acceptance tools), which covers:
• learning about what you really need to get good sleep (and why what you’ve tried so far hasn’t worked);
• changing unhelpful behaviours around your bed, bedtime & sleep;
• adding new, helpful behaviours to your bedtime routine;
• working out how your thoughts and worries stop you sleeping;
• practicing ways to manage worries, anxiety and your racing mind; and
• learning how to deal with hot flushes/flashes and night sweats when they wake you.
Studies have shown that CBTi has a very high success rate. The biggest reason for it not working is if you don’t complete the programme. CBTi tools are the foundation of my Menoinsomnia® coaching programme.
A 2002 study showed that CBTi and sleeping pills produced similar short-term results in insomnia. And CBTi is a completely natural approach. Sleeping pills come with their own limitations (they sedate you, so the quality of sleep is not as good as normal sleep), risks (read the list of side effects) and IMPORTANTLY they don’t fix the underlying thoughts and behaviours that keep insomnia going as a chronic issue. They also interfere with your body's natural processes to bring on sleep.
What about in the long term?
In the long term, CBTi 'wins' over sleeping pills. Studies have shown that the sleep improvements made from CBTi continue on. In contrast, once you stop taking sleeping pills, the worries and behaviours that caused the insomnia are often still there. You may also suffer rebound insomnia, which happens when the sedating affect of certain sleeping pills wears off. Read more here and here.
Yes! We can discuss how you want to approach coaching. Any withdrawal from your sleeping pills would be under your doctor's direction and supervision but this can be done before, during or after coaching with me.
Anyone over 18 years old who has been struggling with their sleep for over 2 months and
• has trouble going to sleep, staying asleep or waking too early;
• may be waking up in the night, possibly with hot flushes/flashes, night sweats or needing the loo;
• feel like they aren't getting good quality, restful sleep; and
• are generally in good physical and mental health (or have been advised by their GP or Primary Care Physician in writing that they can undertake CBTi).
Anyone with any of the following conditions (including but not limited to):
• Any sleep disorder that is not insomnia such as restless leg syndrome (RLS), periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), sleep apnoeas, narcolepsy, circadian rhythm disorders, idiopathic insomnia, paradoxical insomnia, parasomnias, night terrors, etc.
• Untreated obstructive sleep apnoea (if it’s being successfully treated, I may be able to help with written confirmation from your GP/Primary Care Physician)
• Any mental health condition which could potentially be worsened by the mild sleep restriction element of CBTi such as but not limited to PTSD, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, severe depression and anxiety
• Anyone currently or recently experiencing: suicidal ideation; acute mental health crisis; trauma; grief; or going through a big life event like moving house or job
• Any physical, mental or other condition that might be affected by restricted sleep for a period of time, for example, seizure disorders
• Anyone suffering from acute sleep loss requiring emergency help
• Anyone carrying out shift work
• Those not yet motivated to fix their insomnia
Important note: the CBTi approach may be, or may become, an option for those with the mental health conditions above with another provider. Please speak to your GP/Primary Care Physician together with your mental health professionals about this and they can advise you. I am not able to advise on the suitability of CBTi or the Menoinsomnia® coaching programme for any individual.
Clinical hypnosis is simply a mindset of focussed attention. You may well have experienced similar states before, such as when day-dreaming or being totally absorbed in an activity. It feels very normal, can be very relaxing and you remain aware of where you are, what is going on around you and in control at all times. You cannot get 'stuck' in hypnosis.
There are many ways we can work together when under hypnosis to help reach your goals as you will be more open to positive suggestion. For example, we can rehearse changes you want to make and embed helpful thoughts. We can use it for deep relaxation or to prepare for a challenge (like a test, exam, physical performance or public speaking). It is a very flexible tool for us to use together.
My current fees can be found here.
Sessions are paid for in advance to confirm your booking with me.
A minimum of 48 hours notice is needed to change your appointment time or the full fee will be charged.
Typically we would only need 5-8 sessions together and that varies from client to client. After the assessment session I should be able to give you an idea of how many sessions we might need.
I suffered from insomnia for years and after trying everything I could find that promised me better sleep, I eventually stumbled upon Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi). I'd never heard of it before! I was stunned to discover that CBTi is the recommended approach to insomnia by the NHS here in the UK (and it's recommended in the USA, Canada and Australia too). CBTi transformed my sleep for the better. I can still remember how euphoric I felt when I started to get good quality sleep at night.
I am a qualified, registered and insured Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist. Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) is an approach that combines cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) & tools with mindfulness and hypnotherapy. It is an evidence-based approach (i.e. mainstream, peer reviewed evidence) built upon the large body of research backing CBT, mindfulness and clinical hypnosis as psychotherapies that work.
It focuses on helping problems being experienced in the present day and also works on giving clients skills and knowledge to take away and use in future. So it's very much about building long-term self-empowerment.
Studies have shown that hypnosis can 'turbo-charge' the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapies - so it is a powerful psychotherapy. A 2021 meta-analysis of the research around CBH found that hypnosis can make cognitive behavioural therapies work better and the results last longer. Read more here.
I have a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy from The UK College of Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy (UKCHH) (which is independently awarded by NCFE). NCFE is an independent, vocational awarding body regulated by the UK government's Department for Education and regulated by Ofqual. The Diploma is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the General Hypnotherapy Register and the Register for Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy. The UKCHH recently worked with Great Ormond Street Hospital to develop a new hypnosis training programme for hospital psychologists and psychotherapists working with children.
In addition, I have undertaken further trainings in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy for Insomnia, Anxiety (and many other professional CPD trainings). I am a mindfulness teacher, trained to deliver the gold-standard of mindfulness based interventions, the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I have also completed years of counselling skills training.
I am registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA)). I am also a affiliate member of the British Menopause Society (BMS).
Prior to this I was a solicitor (attorney) for over 10 years, having trained & worked in the City of London at an International law firm.
Edinger, J.D. et al. (2001) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treatment of Chronic Primary Insomnia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 285 (14):1856-64
Morin, C.M. et al. (1999) Behavioral and Pharmacological Therapies for Late-Life Insomnia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 281 (11):991-99
Ramondo N, Gignac GE, Pestell CF, Byrne SM. (2021) Clinical Hypnosis as an Adjunct to Cognitive Behavior Therapy: An Updated Meta-Analysis. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. Apr-Jun; 69(2):169-202
Smith, M. T., et al. (2002) Comparative Meta-Analysis of Pharmacotherapy and Behavior Therapy for Persistent Insomnia. American Journal of Psychiatry 159 (1): 5-11
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