Sleep-Related Interventions to Improve Psychotherapy

  • Christoph Nissen
  • Marion Kuhn
  • Elisabeth Hertenstein
  • Nina Landmann
Part of the Studies in Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavioral Economics book series (SNPBE)


Mental disorders are among the most prevalent and impairing disorders worldwide. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), about a third of the population will suffer from a mental disorder across the lifespan. Current guidelines include psychotherapy, or at least psychoeducation, as a first-line treatment component for all mental disorders. Psychotherapy represents an interpersonal process that involves the modification of cognition, emotion and behavior. As such, it can, at least in part, be conceptualized as the quantitative strengthening and qualitative reorganization of novel and more adaptive memory representations. Given that sleep substantially modulates learning, memory and underlying neural refinements, this chapter centers on the idea that sleep-related interventions can be used to augment the treatment effects of psychotherapy. The first part identifies basic memory processes with particular relevance for psychotherapy. The second part evaluates the potential of sleep-related interventions prior to and after psychotherapy, as well as the modulation of distinct aspects of sleep to augment these memory processes in psychotherapy and discusses further directions.


Psychotherapy Sleep Memory Strengthening Reorganization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Nissen
    • 1
  • Marion Kuhn
    • 1
  • Elisabeth Hertenstein
    • 1
  • Nina Landmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Medical Center FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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