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About us and our treatment

Our Insomnia Treatment

Our treatment course involves a stand alone assessment with an expert in sleep medicine, Dr Merritt at the Spire Sussex Hospital, during which a full sleep history will be taken and treatment options explained.  This will be followed by a 'package' of six Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions, tailored to suit your individual needs, at weekly intervals with Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioural Pyschotherapist. Finally there will be a further appointment with Dr Merritt to consolidate and finalise the course of treatment. Further one off reinforcement sessions are also available but shouldn't be necessary.

During the course of treatment patients will have access to online resources via this website, comprising of insomnia assessment questionnaires, audio relaxation MP3 files for download, a summary of homework tasks and an online sleep diary.

The aim of CBT is to remove symptoms such as stress and worry, to help you overcome problems associated with sleeplessness and to re-establish a healthy sleeping pattern. A variety of therapeutic techniques are employed, which include educational and motivational skill development, stress reduction strategies, the development of new sleep routines and schedules and management of cognitive over-activity. In addition, you will develop problem solving and relapse prevention strategies.

As an evidence based approach, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you to overcome insomnia and enjoy a good quality of life once again.

About Us

Dr Simon Merritt

Dr Simon Merritt is a currently a full time NHS consultant in Sleep and Respiratory Medicine, although Insomnia Treatment UK is offered on a private basis only.

Dr Merritt trained at United Medical and Dental School of Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, London gaining a BSc in Psychology, before graduating with Honours Bachelor Medicine, Bachelor Surgery (MBBS). During his post graduate training at St.Thomas' Hospital, Dr Merritt spent three years working in the nationally renown Sleep Disorders Centre and the Lane Fox Unit. He carried out innovative research into the connection between Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and severe Diabetic Retinopathy, and also into the physiology of breathing in the very obese.

Dr Merritt was recently the treasurer and a member of the executive committee of the British Sleep Society.. He is also a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and European Sleep Research Society. As part of this committee work one of Dr Merritt's main aims is to get sleep medicine recognised as a medical specialty in its own right.  Dr Merritt has been consulted by the producers of Embarrassing Bodies regarding a patient with a severe sleep problem. Dr Merritt was recently involved in providing advice to the production team for the  successful BBC 1 series entilted Goodnight Britain.   Dr Merritt has recently co-authored articles in the Telegraph online and the Guardian, and contributed to an article in the Daily Mail.  He has been interviewed a number of times on BBC radio Kent. Dr Merritt has also been consulted on forensic sleep cases, involving sleep walking and sleep sex / sexsomnia.  He has provided advice to counsel and written court reports.

In addition to the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia, Dr Merritt also sees patients with any respiratory or sleep disorder. Routinely he sees and treats patients with Sleep Apnoea (OSA), excessive daytime sleepiness, Narcolepsy, sleep walking, and REM Behaviour Disorder (acting out ones dreams). Dr Merritt also writes court reports in criminal and civil cases involving patient's with a (possible) sleep disorder.

Dr Merritt believes that although insomnia is the most common sleep disorder there are poor provisions within the NHS for addressing it. Although the principles of CBT are the same its application to insomnia is very different to its use in depression and anxiety, and therefore practitioners experienced in this field are likely to obtain better results. Dr Merritt has ensured that Insomnia Treatment for Kent and Sussex offers a patient centred approach, and hopes to be able to guide as many insomniacs through this treatment as possible.

Steve Clifford

Steve Clifford has worked in the field of psychological health for over thirty years. He is an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist ( British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) as well as a senior accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist. He is also a dual qualified Nurse and Body Therapist.  He is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and is a member of the Royal College of Nursing.
Regular clinical supervision ensures the highest standards of practice are followed at all times.  He has a special interest in the relationship between mind and body. He believes that, within us, each of us has the innate power to harness health and healing; in particular to overcome difficulties associated with insomnia through making small changes to our outlook and lifestyle.


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