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Insomnia: Evidence-Based Strategies for Depression, Trauma, Anxiety and Chronic Pain


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  • Harness sleep drive to override mental over-activity
  • Use rumination as a trigger for more adaptive strategies
  • Mindfulness strategies to help with sleep and fatigue

Dr. Colleen Carney provides evidence-based strategies to help your clients increase energy during the day, sleep more deeply, and re-initiate sleep after hot flashes, panic attacks or nightmares. Free your clients from insomnia and improve their mood, pain, self-efficacy and quality of life. The strategies presented in this workshop are brief and easily integrated into existing treatment for depression, chronic pain, trauma and anxiety.

You will develop strategies to help your clients with sleep regulation in order to effectively troubleshoot problems. Learn assessment tools, step-by-step CBT, and counter-arousal strategies that your client can immediately use. Dr. Carney’s engaging workshop will include discussion of case vignettes, experiential exercises, examples of sleep logs and other tools to use in your clinical practice.

Format: DVD Video – 4+ hours

Length: 6 hr 11 min

Details: Multi-disc video recording with electronic manual and instructions


  1. Identify sleep disorders which require referrals to a sleep center.
  2. Integrate strategies for pre-sleep arousal by building a stronger drive for deep sleep.
  3. Discuss why CBT-I is effective for clients with co-occurring issues such as pain, depression, anxiety or trauma.
  4. List treatment strategies clients can easily implement to manage their fatigue.
  5. Design behavioral experiments for clients to test unhelpful beliefs about sleep.
  6. Identify conditioned arousal and teach clients strategies to reverse it.

Sleep Regulation

  • Sleep homeostasis
  • Behaviors that interfere with the build-up of sleep-drive
  • The circadian system
  • Behaviors that interfere with optimal timing of sleep
  • Arousal system: behaviors that cause conditioned arousal and cognitive emotional hyperarousal


  • How to get useful information from sleep diaries
  • The difference between sleepiness and fatigue
  • When to make a referral to a sleep clinic
  • Other assessment issues

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

Sleep Restriction Therapy (SRT): Restore the Sleep Drive

  • Calculate optimal time-in-bed prescription
  • Collaborate on the best “sleep window”
  • Special cases: when to use sleep compression instead

Stimulus Control (SC): Addressing Conditioned Arousal

  • Select an optimal standard rise time
  • Fatigue management strategies to eliminate napping
  • Special cases: when to use counter control instead
  • Combining SC and SRT in one-session CBT-I

Counter-arousal Strategies

  • Identify and change negative thoughts that keep people awake
  • Behavioral experiments
  • Thought records
  • The buffer zone
  • Socratic questioning
  • Structured, scheduled problem-solving
  • Mindfulness
  • Troubleshooting difficulties with adherence
  • High sleep anxiety vs. high arousal
  • Awakenings from pain, hot flashes, panic or nightmares
  • Using light and activation in those with depression

Modifications to CBT for Insomnia in Complex Cases & Comorbidity

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Implementation Issues

  • Relapse prevention
  • Delivery issues


Colleen E. Carney, Ph.D., has been solving sleep issues for the past 15+ years. She is a leading expert in psychological treatments for insomnia, particularly in the context of co-occurring mental health issues.

Dr. Carney is the director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and she has over 100 publications on insomnia. She frequently trains students and mental health providers in CBT for Insomnia at invited workshops throughout North America and at international conferences. Dr. Carney is a passionate advocate for improving the availability of treatment for those with insomnia and other health problems. For more information, please visit www.drcolleencarney.com

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Colleen Carney is a professor at Ryerson University. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Colleen Carney is a member of the Canadian Psychological Association; and the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT).

Colleen Carney, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Colleen Carney, Ph.D.,C.Psych is an Associate Professor and Director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. She is the current President of the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT ), Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders Special Interest Group. Her research has received support from the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and Ministry of Research and Innovation.

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