i wish i’d known then, what i know now
After an extremely stressful time in my life many years ago, I started having problems sleeping. That stress eventually passed, but the insomnia didn’t. I sought help from therapists and practiced all the anti-anxiety and relaxation strategies in the book. I tried acupuncture. I tried supplements. I went from doctor to doctor looking for help. But all they had to offer was sleeping pills [they used to say Zopiclone is not addictive!] – or a “sleep hygiene” hand-out. Nothing was very helpful. Or at least, not for long.
I also was working with many people living with chronic illness and other disabilities and noticed that virtually all of them had chronic insomnia. They were sharing stories of sleep problems so similar to mine.
After years of struggling to sleep – and struggling to get through the day – I discovered something called CBT for Insomnia [otherwise known as CBT-I – which is specifically focused on sleep and is quite different from the usual CBT]. As a Registered Clinical Counsellor for many years, I wondered why hadn’t I heard of it?! Despite that it’s considered the “gold standard” in insomnia treatment by all the sleep experts, there’s a surprising lack of awareness of this therapy (among doctors, therapists, and people in general). I honestly don’t know why it’s so little known. But I think one reason is that there are so few therapists trained in this approach so it’s really not available to the average person. In Vancouver where I live, for example, the average wait list to get CBT-I at our local sleep disorders clinics is 1 to 2 years.
So, I immediately signed up for training and began trying out the strategies on myself. I was amazed to discover that it works! Within a surprisingly short time, I was starting to sleep better; and much better within a few weeks. Now, when insomnia starts creeping back in, I know exactly what to do. It’s true what they say: knowledge is power!
Naturally I wanted to share what I learned with others who are wasting their lives to insomnia. So I completely changed the focus of my counselling practice – and have never looked back.
I love my job! There’s nothing more rewarding than witnessing people – who come to me exhausted and frustrated and feeling hopeless about their ability to sleep – learn how to get better, more restorative sleep and regain their quality of life. I know a better life is possible and feel so passionate about my work.
I would love to share with you what I learned so that you too can get better sleep.
I’m a Registered Clinical Counsellor (member of BC Association of Clinical Counsellors) with specialized training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia and Online Counselling. I hold a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Counselling Psychology from UBC (BA in Psychology from SFU).
Why Choose a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)?
“The RCC designation is your guarantee that a counselling professional has met rigorous training [Masters-level], experience and supervision requirements.”
“RCCs are held accountable to their clients through the BCACC’s Code of Ethical Conduct, Standards of Clinical Practice, and its complaints, investigation and disciplinary procedures.”
“All RCCs must pass a Criminal Record Check and carry professional liability insurance.”
“A Registered Clinical Counsellor can help you get a better understanding of your issues and concerns in order to enhance your self-growth, personal effectiveness, relationships, and your general mental health and well-being.”
My registration with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (member #1828, Lorraine Irlam) can be verified on the BCACC website.
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