About Sleep Counseling

Richard E. Madden, PhD, LCSW

Richard E. Madden, PhD, LCSW
Center for Sleep Counseling Studies
Founding Member
Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine

Clinical Sleep Counseling is the organized answer to three questions I ask at the beginning of my presentations and trainings for licensed mental health and addiction treatment professionals:

1) Do you  believe that adequate sleep is essential for human health and emotional well being?

2) What percentage of your client caseload experiences insomnia and poor sleep?

3) During your graduate education and in your continuing education since, have you learned sleep information and direct treatment skills that make you confident and able to help your clients/patients sleep better?

Ninety-nine percent of the hundreds of social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage & family therapists, nurse practitioners, pastoral counselors and addiction specialists have answered:

1) YES           2) >50%            3) NO

In the Spring of 2008, I conducted an informal email survey of six New York State graduate schools in Social Work.  I asked sixty faculty in clinical concentrations to indicate the existence of any sleep science or sleep improvement education, clinical training or field work exposure to insomnia treatment.  Not one faculty member responded in the affirmative!  This survey roughly coincided with the Psychotherapy Networker annual conference offering approximately 150 workshops of which only one had to do with sleep and dreaming.  Two years later a large addictions conference with about 70 offerings had not one workshop on insomnia or sleep improvement.

Weaving this thread of sleep improvement into the fabric of the therapy process is the essence of Clinical Sleep Counseling.

Being hard-wired and professionally-trained to design service responses to human need, I initially opened the Center for Sleep Counseling Studies, Inc., to awaken the professional, largely masters-prepared, mental health community to the existence of important sleep information and proven insomnia interventions developed over the last 30 years by “behavioral sleep medicine” and generally referred to as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).  It is now apparent, however, that while CBT-I comprises the scientific “heart” of Sleep Counseling, the “soul” surrounds the therapist’s artful assessment of sleep and skilled introduction of sleep interventions without hijacking the therapy.  Weaving this thread of sleep improvement into the fabric of the therapy process is the essence of Clinical Sleep Counseling.

Before Sleep Counseling, mental health practitioners–and only doctoral level ones at that–had to enter the clinical realm of (behavioral) sleep medicine in order to gain access to helpful sleep information and effective CBT-I interventions for sleep improvement.   Now, these insomnia-busting resources are available to all licensed mental health professionals who receive training in Clinical Sleep Counseling to distinguish the relatively few clinicians who value sleep and are prepared to help clients sleep better.  We are, after all, counselors and psychotherapists–not sleep docs; nor do we wish to become sleep specialists in order to effectively treat the insomnia and poor sleep of our clients and patients.  Finally, after all these years, the Center for Sleep Counseling Studies is making it possible for mental health and addiction treatment professionals to awaken to the importance of sleep.

Clinical Sleep Counseling training provides a rich informational context from which to deliver sleep improvement interventions and includes the anthrohistory of sleep, cross-cultural and biological perspectives, sleep science, overview of medically-related sleep disorders, insomnia theories, behavioral and cognitive approaches, stress reduction and sleep induction, and special populations like women and sleep, teen sleep and senior sleep. Sleep Counseling goes beyond the biobehavioral aspects of insomnia so effectively addressed in CBT-I by also exploring the psychosocial, environmental, family, community, economic, cultural and ethnic factors contributing to sleep problems.

Training in Clinical Sleep Counseling is designed for licensed and accomplished mental health professionals like yourself.  The heavily-referenced manual is concise and provides all the information needed to take the 180 question self-study exam.  FREE initial consultation with Dr. Madden is included with purchase of the Manual along with 20 useful client handouts.  You are also invited to attend the FREE bi-monthly telestudy conference calls that are stimulating, enjoyable and informative.  This training & consultation is respectful of your time demands and is designed for busy clinicians who wish to add Sleep Counseling to their clinical practice in a convenient and affordable way.  So let’s get going!  I invite you to join us in this worthwhile work and pledge my best effort to make this continuing education rewarding for you and your tired clients.

Live and sleep well,

Richard E. Madden, PhD, LCSW
Center for Sleep Counseling Studies