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Overcoming Insomnia (Second Edition): Therapist Guide

Overcoming Insomnia comes in two volumes. This page is for the Therapist Guide. Click on the following link to access the Client Workbook

It is estimated that one in ten adults in the USA suffers from chronic insomnia. Unlike pharmacological approaches, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) insomnia treatments have been shown to yield long term improvements. Overcoming Insomnia is written by Jack Edinger and Colleen Carney, and provides therapists with all the tools they need to deliver effective, evidence-based psychological treatment for insomnia. Part of the Treatments That Work® series, it provides step-by-step instructions for teaching clients skills to overcome their insomnia.

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Chapter 1: Introductory Information for Therapists

Chapter 2: Pre-Treatment Assessment

Chapter 3: Session 1: Psychoeducational and Behavioral Therapy Components

Chapter 4: Session 2: Cognitive Therapy Components

Chapter 5: Follow-up Sessions

Chapter 6: Considerations in CBT Delivery: Challenging Patients and Treatment Settings



Front Matter


Languages this resource is available in

  • English (GB)
  • English (US)

Problems this resource might be used to address

Techniques associated with this resource

Mechanisms associated with this resource

Introduction & Theoretical Background

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder, characterized by difficulties initiating, sustaining, or obtaining satisfying sleep. About one in three adults experiences intermittent insomnia, and between 10-22% suffer from chronic insomnia. Overcoming Insomnia is a comprehensive program to assist clinicians in delivering effective CBT for insomnia. The program includes two books:

  • Overcoming Insomnia: Therapist Guide details the step-by-step cognitive behavioral treatment of insomnia. Learn how to give your patients information about healthy sleep, and then implement a behavioral program to address your patient’s specific sleep problems.
  • Overcoming Insomnia: Workbook is the companion to this therapist guide. It will help your patients to become active participants in their treatment, learn about healthy sleep, and develop an effective sleep regimen to improve their sleep.

About Treatments That Work®

Authored by leading psychologists including David Barlow, Michelle Craske and Edna Foa, Treatments That Work® is a series of manuals and workbooks based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Each pair of books – therapist guide and workbook – contains step by step procedures for delivering evidence-based psychological interventions and will help you to provide the best possible care for your clients. 

At Psychology Tools, we are proud to make many of the Treatments That Work® titles available to our members. Each book is available to download chapter-by-chapter, and Psychology Tools members with a currently active subscription to our ‘Complete’ plan are licensed to share copies with their clients.

How effective is this treatment?

Cognitive behavioral treatments for insomnia have been tested in a large number of randomized controlled trials. For insomnia sufferers with no comorbidities CBT has proven superior to relaxation training, sham behavioral intervention, sleep medication (temazepam), a medication placebo, and a no-treatment wait-list for treating insomnia complaints (Morin, Colecchi, et al. 1999; Edinger, Wohlgemuth, et al. 2001, 2007). For patients with comorbidities, CBT has been found to produce sleep improvements among insomnia patients with chronic peripheral pain syndromes (Currie, Wilson, et al. 2000), breast cancer (Savard, Simard, et al. 2005), fibromyalgia (Edinger, Wohlgemuth, et al. 2005), mixed medical disorders (Rybarczyk, Lopez, et al. 2002), alcoholism (Greeff and Conradie 1998), and depression (Taylor, Lichstein, et al. 2007; Manber, Edinger, et al. 2008).

Chapters in Overcoming Insomnia: Therapist Guide: 

  • Chapter 1: Introductory Information for Therapists
  • Chapter 2: Pre-Treatment Assessment
  • Chapter 3: Sessions 1: Psychoeducational and Behavioral Therapy Components
  • Chapter 4: Session 2: Cognitive Therapy Components
  • Chapter 5: Follow-up Sessions
  • Chapter 6: Considerations in CBT Delivery: Challenging Patients and Treatment Settings
  • Appendix 1: Sleep History Questionnaire
  • Appendix 2: Daytime Insomnia Symptom Response Scale (DISRS)
  • References

About the authors

Jack D. Edinger, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Edinger is a world leader in insomnia treatment and insomnia research. He is recognized internationally for his research and clinical leadership in the areas of insomnia diagnosis and treatment. His early case series studies are among the very first to document the effectiveness of current-day cognitive behavioral insomnia therapy approaches, and he has over 32 years of research and clinical experience working with insomnia patients.

Colleen E. Carney, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University in Toronto. Dr. Carney is a world-renowned expert in comorbid insomnias and the treatment of insomnia with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). In the Sleep and Depression Laboratory she trains graduate students and treatment providers in CBT for insomnia. She also provides CBT training workshops worldwide. She uses the treatment described in this book in her randomized controlled trials, funded by such agencies as the National Institute of Mental Health, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and the National Institute for Nursing Research. Dr. Carney is passionate about improving access to empirically supported insomnia therapy to patients.

Therapist Guidance

Each Treatments That Work® title is published in two volumes:
  • Clients use the Workbooks which contain elements of psychoeducation, skills development, self-assessment quizzes, homework exercises, and record forms.
  • Therapists use the Therapist Guides which contain step-by-step instructions for teaching clients skills, overcoming common difficulties.
Therapists with an active subscription to a Psychology Tools ‘Complete’ plan are licensed to use Treatments That Work® titles, and to download and share chapters with their clients.

References And Further Reading

  • Currie, S. R., K. G. Wilson, A. J. Pontefract, and L. deLaplante (2000). “Cognitive-behavioral treatment of insomnia secondary to chronic pain.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(3), 407–416.
  • Edinger, J. D., W. K. Wohlgemuth, A. D. Krystal, and J. R. Rice (2005). “Behavioral insomnia therapy for fibromyalgia patients: A randomized clinical trial.” Archives of Internal Medicine, 165(21), 2527–2535.
  • Edinger, J. D., W. K. Wohlgemuth, R. A. Radtke, C. J. Coffman, and C. E. Carney (2007). “Dose-response effects of cognitive-behavioral insomnia therapy: A randomized clinical trial.” Sleep, 30(2), 203–212.
  • Edinger, J. D., W. K. Wohlgemuth, R. A. Radtke, G. R. Marsh, and R. E. Quillian (2001). “Cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of chronic primary insomnia: A randomized controlled trial.” JAMA, 285(14), 1856–1864.
  • Greeff, A. P., and W. S. Conradie (1998). “Use of progressive relax- ation training for chronic alcoholics with insomnia.” Psychological Reports 82(2), 407–412.
  • Manber, R., J. D. Edinger, J. L. Gress, M. G. San Pedro-Salcedo, T. F. Kuo, and T. Kalista (2008). “Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia enhances depression outcome in patients with comorbid major depressive disorder and insomnia.” Sleep 31(4), 489–495.
  • Morin, C. M., C. Colecchi, J. Stone, R. Sood, and D. Brink (1999). “Behavioral and pharmacological therapies for late-life insomnia: A randomized controlled trial.” JAMA, 281(11). 991–999.
  • Rybarczyk, B., M. Lopez, R. Benson, C. Alsten, and E. Stepanski (2002). “Efficacy of two behavioral treatment programs for comorbid geriatric insomnia.” Psychology Aging 17(2), 288–298.
  • Savard, J., S. Simard, H. Ivers, and C. M. Morin (2005). “Randomized study on the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia seondary to breast cancer, part I: Sleep and psychological effects.” Journal of Clinical Oncology, 23(25), 6083–6096.
  • Taylor, D. J., K. L. Lichstein, J. Weinstock, S. Sanford, and J. R. Temple (2007). “A pilot study of cognitive-behavioral therapy of insomnia in people with mild depression.” Behavior Therapy, 38(1), 49–57.