Portland skyline from the water


Friday, May 6, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM EDT


Woodfords Club
179 Woodford Street
Portland, ME 04103


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Joel Guarna 

Beth Eilers

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Good Night, Insomnia 
Proven Strategies to Help Your Clients Get the Sleep They Need

Insomnia and Sleeplessness
One-third of Americans report suffering one or more nights of insomnia during any given year. Poor sleep and insomnia can contribute to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, anxiety and chronic pain. Insomnia medications are often habit-forming, have troubling side effects, and merely mask the symptoms of sleeplessness rather than treat the underlying problems.  

We all have had clients who have suffered from a poor night's sleep. What role do behavioral health professionals play in helping to curb the effects of sleeplessness and insomnia? A variety of behavioral approaches have been proven effective in treating insomnia and difficulties with sleep. However, many clinicians lack the training and confidence to work effectively with these issues. 

The Science 
In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) confirmed that "p
sychological and behavioral interventions are effective and recommended in the treatment of chronic primary insomnia" and "chronic secondary insomnia."  AASM's list of recommended behavioral treatments closely matches the list of treatments with "strong research support" compiled by the Society of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12).

This Workshop
Using a combination of didactic presentation, experiential exercises, and hands-on practice, this workshop will explore behavioral treatments for insomnia. We will compare and contrast approaches based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with an emphasis on the latter. We will demonstrate and practice a variety of strategies, exercises, and metaphors. This training will give you an understanding of the science of sleep, various and flexible tools to use with your clients, and a workable practice to add to your own self-care regimen. 

We will open with a review of the science of sleep and common sleep-related problems. Then we will review many of the behavioral treatments considered effective by AASM and the Society of Clinical Psychology, including stimulus control, sleep restriction, paradoxical intention, and cognitive restructuring, with particular focus on the components of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i). Participants will practice skills for using these approaches with clients.
We will compare these control-based strategies with another approach, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which can include aspects of these strategies but tends more towards an acceptance- and mindfulness-oriented approach that may be more acceptable to many patients. ACT-i (ACT for Insomnia) has the additional benefit of moving patients toward sleep habits and patterns more like the normal sleep of persons without insomnia. The core of this workshop will be on practice with ACT-i and application of ACT-i to various common client groups (e.g., addictions, anxiety, chronic pain).

About ACT
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a contemporary form of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that has shown much promise in helping clients with a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties. ACT introduces a comprehensive model of change including a creative set of metaphors and experiential exercises to help clients (a) move away from unworkable change strategies, (b) make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, and other private reactions they have feared and avoided, (c) re-connect with their deepest values to set a direction for change and to motivate change, and (d) experience their struggles differently and in a manner that permits them to move forward with their lives now. 

Training Level
Though this workshop will present a mix of behavioral techniques, no prior knowledge of ACT or CBT is needed to participate in this workshop. Some prior exposure to ACT and CBT (or personal reading) would be beneficial (if you would like some recommended reading prior to the workshop, please contact us). This workshop is ideal for anyone who is eager to learn more and to deepen their proficiency in helping their clients with sleep issues. If you want to learn more about ACT after the workshop, we have reading lists, trainings and study groups available.

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Beth Eilers is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Maine. She obtained her Masters degree in Social Work at Florida State University in 2000 and has a BA in Film and Literature. She has worked with individuals and families for more than 15 years, beginning at Shands Hospital in Florida in the pediatric pulmonary and liver transplant practices. In Maine, she has practiced at the Free Clinic on India Street, Support and Recovery Services, and the Portland Community Health Center. She currently manages her private practice, Healthful Counseling, in Portland.  

Joel Guarna is a licensed psychologist in the state of Maine. He earned his PhD from Bowling Green State University in 2000 and trained at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology as a predoctoral intern and postdoctoral fellow. Joel later served as a staff psychologist in the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Boston. Joel opened his private practice, White Pine Behavioral Health, in 2005. He now splits his time between his private practice and the Mercy Pain Center, both in Portland. Joel's areas of interest and specialization include CBT and ACT, health psychology, mind/body health and mindfulness-based therapies, addictions treatment, program design, and business of practice consulting.  

Continuing Education
Psychologists and alcohol and drug counselors in Maine: White Pine Institute has submitted applications for continuing education (6 CEs) approval for psychologists and alcohol and drug counselors through the appropriate boards. Counselors and social workers in Maine: In Maine, the Boards overseeing LCPCs and social workers no longer require preapproval for CE trainings. Appropriate documentation will be provided so counselors and social workers can submit for continuing education to their respective boards. Out of state therapists and other health care providers: Documentation of your attendance will be provided for you to use should you decide to seek CE approval from your respective board.

  • This event is open to health care and behavioral health care professionals only. 
  • If you require any special accommodations, please be sure to contact us well before the date of the event. 
  • Please review our Cancelation/Refund, Grievance, and other Policies HERE.  


Regular Registration: $140

Please register before Wednesday, 5/4/16. No on-site registration.