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Psychosocial Approaches to the Treatment of Sleep Paralysis 

Psychosocial Approaches to the Treatment of Sleep Paralysis
Psychosocial Approaches to the Treatment of Sleep Paralysis

Brian A. Sharpless

and Karl Doghramji

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date: 19 September 2020

This chapter summarizes the available psychosocial approaches to treating sleep paralysis. No randomized clinical trials have yet been conducted, and the few published treatment reports lack both a clear description of outcome and a thorough description of the actual treatment process. The earliest therapeutic approach, psychoanalysis, is not well described in terms of specific techniques, but elements of the therapeutic focus can be inferred by hypothesized etiological mechanisms. Second, the published uses of clinical hypnosis are summarized. Third, cognitive behavioral approaches to sleep paralysis are reviewed, and these contain several cognitive behavioral techniques that appear promising and were incorporated into our own treatment manual. Finally, components of insomnia treatment (e.g., sleep hygiene) and techniques derived from folk psychology are evaluated and advocated for sleep paralysis treatment.

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