Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 209–217 | Cite as

Incorporating Principles from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy into Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: A Case Example

  • Kristy L. Dalrymple
  • Lavinia Fiorentino
  • Mary C. Politi
  • Donn Posner
Original Paper


Although traditional cognitive behavioral treatments for insomnia have demonstrated efficacy for many individuals with primary and comorbid insomnia, not all individuals benefit from treatment and some experience a subsequent relapse of insomnia. Furthermore, many individuals experience difficulty in implementing the sleep restriction and stimulus control strategies, especially over the long-term. The current article describes ways in which principles from a newer type of behavior therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), can be integrated with traditional behavioral treatment strategies for insomnia. A major goal of ACT is to increase willingness to experience unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, and to promote engagement in personally-valued behaviors while non-judgmentally observing these unpleasant experiences. ACT has the potential to enhance the behavioral treatment of insomnia by fostering willingness to experience short-term discomfort (e.g., fatigue) that occurs while implementing sleep restriction and stimulus control strategies. A case example is presented to illustrate how these principles from ACT can be integrated with behavioral techniques in the treatment of insomnia.


Insomnia Treatment Behavior therapy Acceptance Mindfulness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristy L. Dalrymple
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lavinia Fiorentino
    • 3
  • Mary C. Politi
    • 4
  • Donn Posner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryRhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Surgery and Health Communication Research LaboratoryWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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