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How to make your sleep problems worse (yes, you read that right, make them worse)and how to fix them

What is Brief Strategic Therapy and how can it help you to sleep better?



Make sleep problems worse so you can sleep better later? It's possible? Well yes, although it sounds strange, it is possible and that is what Brief Strategic Therapy is in charge of. The director of Change Happens Psychology, Lucía Martínez, tells us in the following interview how, through Brief Therapy, problems can be addressed and solved that often directly affect insomnia, such as anxiety, panic, phobias, obsessions and compulsions, depression, grief, management of physical illness, among others.


Lucía, you are a General Health Psychologist, with a Master's Degree in Clinical and Health Psychology and a Master's Degree in Strategic Brief Therapy and you are responsible for Change Happens Psychology and for 15 years you have been working in consultation with adults, adolescents and children. Tell us what Change Happens Psychology is and how you would define Brief Strategic Therapy (BST).

«Change Happens Psychology is a face-to-face and online therapy center that bases its work on Brief Strategic Therapy, a model that has demonstrated its scientific evidence for a long time and that offers numerous advantages for the patient. Brief Strategic Therapy is a therapeutic approach in which you work based on specific objectives so that change occurs. It is not an approach based on rigid theories, but one that adapts to each problem that the person presents in consultation.»


How are pathologies conceived from the BST approach?

«The problems for which the person comes to the consultation are NOT treated as «diseases» but as situations in which a balance that should be healthy and functional has become dysfunctional. Most of the problems that lead people to consult are due to the fact that a series of attempted solutions have been implemented that, having worked on some occasion, maintained over time, end up being part of the problem and making it worse. For this reason, when the person learns strategies that adapt to their problem, they are able to block those ineffective solutions and launch others that help you solve it.«

How many sessions does it take to start seeing changes?

«Only the necessary sessions are carried out, neither one more nor one less. Not being a therapy "release" but change, action, each session is aimed at building the necessary conditions for the person to achieve their goals. For this reason, if after a specific number of sessions (about 10) not a single change has been produced, then is it the therapist himself who withdraws and proceeds to the referral so as not to end up being part of the problem of changes?.


What role does the patient play in therapy?

«Your role is essential. It is the patient who best knows his problem and the goals he wants to achieve. For this reason, we work to provide them with the greatest autonomy, self-confidence and independence possible as you acquire effective new strategies and add them to your existing ones. Dependence on therapy or the figure of the therapist is avoided and the person is encouraged to use their resources to increase their sense of self-efficacy.»


¿What disorders can be addressed from this approach?

«BST has protocols to address various problems: phobias, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessions, depression, presumed psychosis, etc.«




What does brief therapy contribute to sleep problems?

«As can be seen in the online course «Sleep well!», insomnia problems can be caused or sustained by either a physical cause or a psychological cause. Sometimes we can even find both. In the case in which the person has developed a phobia of not sleeping well and an obsession in this regard, BST can help them avoid implementing dysfunctional attempted solutions that, if maintained over time, will paradoxically end up building the pathology that they want to avoid. The more and better we want to sleep, if we make this an obsession, paradoxically, the further we will be from achieving it and we will end up building what we wanted to avoid».


Is Brief Therapy suitable to be taught online? What are the advantages of doing it online?

«Strategic brief therapy can be carried out online. Obviously, there are exceptions, but this happens in any approach. But if we have learned anything during these two years of the pandemic, it is that the online modality has allowed many people to access effective therapeutic help that they would not have been able to obtain otherwise. The advantages of online therapy are: flexibility in schedules and appointment changes, reduction of between one and two hours of time invested in transportation to the therapy center, access to therapy if you live outside Madrid or Spain (in In my case I have patients even in France).«


Can the online course help you sleep well! Anyone with a sleep problem?

«I'm sure this will be the case, especially if you've been running solutions for a while that don't help you and inadvertently ended up participating in the construction of the problem. This course that I offer from a Brief Strategic Therapy approach is oriented so that the person can be part of the solution to their problem by learning new effective tools and blocking those that make their situation worse and chronic.»


You mentioned that the student is part of the solution to his problem. What does this imply for the student when taking the course?

«It is not a course with videos where the trainer explains theoretical concepts so that the student integrates them. Sleep well! It is a 100% practical course where the student agrees to carry out the tasks that are presented in a written presentation-type format. In each module, some tasks are assigned that the student must carry out and upload to the platform so that I can evaluate them and advise them in the process. The course requires a lot of work and commitment on the part of the student to obtain the desired results, but it also entails a lot of support on my part.».


Can we then say that this online course is not only a course but that it is an online therapy?

«It is an online course that provides many elements of therapy but it is important to say that the figure of the therapist as such is not as present as in therapy as such.»


What does this course offer you in a special way?

«A full role in solving your problem. Regain confidence in your body and in your ability to sleep or rest. Learn the paradoxical mechanisms that lead us to build the problems we want to avoid.»


 

Change Happens Psicología

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