The lack of training pertaining to the assessment and treatment of sleep disorders is not uncommon amongst behavioral healthcare providers. When I am conducting trainings for CDP, few attendees endorse receiving any formal training pertaining to the assessment and treatment of sleep disorders. However, when asked about the patients that they work with, most attendees indicate the vast majority of their patients have sleep problems. This critical knowledge gap between training and clinical needs of patients underscores the importance of training in the assessment and treatment of sleep disorders. In particular, I want to highlight some key points I have taken from my training in this area and have found to be very helpful in my clinical practice, supervision and training.
Blog posts with the tag "Clinical Skills"
I recently received some feedback on training materials I put together, about how PTSD develops after a combat trauma. I had mentioned that classical conditioning explains how stimuli that occur in close proximity can become associated, resulting in conditioned responses. Of course, I mentioned Pavlov, because, dogs! Right? I might also have mentioned that our family dog salivates and does a little happy dance right on cue every morning when I grind the coffee, just before I walk over and scoop her food into the dish.
Various theories of psychotherapy have long highlighted the importance of developing individualized treatment plans developed to meet the idiographic needs of the individual person. Decades of research have also supported the positive impact of patient-provider collaboration, which has yielded benefits to include increased sense of empowerment, autonomy, and satisfaction with treatment (Slade, 2017). Collaboration in treatment has led to improved treatment compliance and engagement, thereby producing enhanced treatment outcomes (Patel et al., 2008).
I catch myself in a trap every so often, as my colleagues have, getting so caught up in selling the phases outlined in a treatment modality that I haven’t taken the time to hear the words from the patients’ perspective. And, working with an all military culture, I’ve found that when this happens I’ve usually lost the patient. I’ve used terms that simply don’t resonate with them and they are less willing to engage in whatever awesome thing I’m trying to get them to try.
Providers of behavioral treatment of sleep disorders, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) or Brief Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (BBTI), need to score sleep logs efficiently and accurately to implement strategies. Moreover, we must teach patients how to score their own logs so that they in turn can implement sleep schedule adjustments without our guidance. It’s not surprising, then, that a frequent topic that arises in consultations concerns the use of sleep logs, specifically, learning steps for how to score logs and getting experience doing so.