Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

2015 Advanced CBT-I Seminar: April 16-18, 2015, Philadelphia, PA

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About the Speakers


Michael Perlis, PhDMichael L. Perlis, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, University of Pennsylvania
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania

Course Role: Dr. Perlis is the primary lecturer for the Basic Seminar and co-leads the Advanced Seminar with Dr. Posner. The Basic Seminar was developed nine years ago to provide clinicians from all walks of professional life the education and tools they need to provide CBT-I. Dr. Perlis has been continually updating the course material and course offerings since 2005. Over this course of this time the seminar has been given in venues around the world and has attracted increasingly multidisciplinary audiences. The seminar, according to Dr. Perlis, represents his best effort towards a singular goal: "Make CBT-I widely available". The Advanced Seminar (first given in 2014) represents the effort to address more complex practice issues and to do so in a highly interactive manner where attendees and course faculty learn from one another. His role in the Advanced Seminar, like those of Drs. Posner and Ellis, is as both a lecturer and discussion leader.

Background: Dr. Perlis is internationally known for his work in the area of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (BSM). He is a coauthor of the first text book in this field and he is the senior author of a published CBT-I treatment manual and a larger text summarizing all BSM treatments. In addition, he conducts two annual CBT-I training workshops per year (the basic workshop has been ongoing for the last 10 years and the advanced workshop was first offered in 2014), has available a video mock case vignette DVD, and offers mini-fellowship BSM practica and supervision through his group at Penn. Note: The Basic CBT-I workshop has also been provided, on request, in England, Sweden, South Africa, Israel, Korea, and Japan and the CBT-I manual has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Chinese. In addition to the above mentioned activities, Dr. Perlis has served as mentor to a number of students from many backgrounds, including 29 undergraduates, 6 medical students, 4 residents/psychology interns, 4 graduate students, 9 postdoctoral fellows, and ~15 junior faculty. Most notable among his prior mentees (i.e., those who have gone on to research careers) are Sean Drummond PhD, Kenneth Wright PhD, Michael Smith PhD, Carla Jungquist PhD, Wilfred Pigeon PhD, Philip Gehrman PhD, Subhajit Chakravorty MD, and Michael Grander, PhD.

Dr. Perlis serves on the editorial boards of Sleep, the Journal of Sleep Research, the journal of Sleep Medicine Research, and the journal of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Dr. Perlis has also served as a member, or chair, of several committees and task forces of the Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and he was the assistant chair for the training program of the SRS for five years. Finally, Dr. Perlis was one of the five organizing and founding members of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM).  He also served as the SBSM’s first president (2010-2011).

Dr. Perlis has published, as an author or co-author, more than 100 articles and chapters on sleep research related topics.


Donn Posner, PhD

Donn Posner, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University





Course Role: Dr. Posner is nationally renowned as a master CBT-I therapist and clinical educator. His role in the Basic seminar is to 1) provide the "in clinic point of view" on the didactic material being presented during the seminar, and 2) highlight and flesh out issues that arise during lectures or during the QnA components of the course. Dr. Posner is also available throughout the Basic Seminar to provide one-on-one responses to questions and concerns. He role in the Advanced Seminar is as both a lecturer and a discussion leader.

Background:   Dr. Posner has been actively engaged in the treatment of sleep- disordered patients for the past twenty-one years. He sees a wide variety of patients, including those with Primary and Co-morbid Insomnia, Circadian Rhythm Disorders, Sleep Apnea, and Narcolepsy. In addition, half of his practice is involved with anxiety disorders and the behavioral treatment of such problems as Panic Disorder, GAD, OCD, PTSD, and Social Phobia. For the last sixteen years he has served as the lead supervisor and mentor for a sleep medicine and anxiety disorders rotation in the Behavioral Medicine track of the Brown Clinical Psychology internship. He is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and became one of the first certified Behavioral Sleep Medicine specialists recognized by that group.



Picture of Jason EllisJason Ellis, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Northumbria University                                                              Director, Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research



Course Role(s): Dr. Ellis is an internationally prominent sleep researcher and an experienced CBT-I therapist. His role in the Basic Seminar, like Dr. Posner's, is to: 1) Provide the "in-clinic point of view" on the didactic material presented during the seminar, 2) Highlight and flesh out issues that arise during lectures or during the QnA components of the course, and 3) Provide "color commentary." Dr. Ellis, along with Drs. Perlis and Posner, is available throughout the Basic Seminar to provide one-on-one responses to questions and concerns. His role in the Advanced Seminar is as both a lecturer and a discussion leader.

Background: Dr. Ellis is a Professor of Sleep Science and Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research in the United Kingdom. He splits his time between his basic research interests: the pathophysiology of sleep disorders (Insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, and Circadian Rhythm Disorders), the natural history of Insomnia, and his applied work on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). Within the latter framework he examines the impact of novel adjunct therapies, the influence of social factors on adherence, and the effective delivery of CBT-I in complex cases.  He has worked within the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, delivering CBT-I to individuals with a range of physical and psychological conditions and serves on the editorial board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. He is a serious advocate of public engagement and professional education with regard to behavioral sleep medicine and regularly trains CBT-I to clinicians and primary care physicians in the United Kingdom.


Marnie G. Shanbhag, PhD, PA







Course Role: Dr. Shanbhag joined the Basic CBT-I course in 2010 to share her expertise on practice management, marketing, and billing.

Background: Marnie Shanbhag is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Winter Park, Florida. Dr. Shanbhag specializes in health issues and corporate psychology and divides her time between counseling individuals, couples, and employees and providing consultation services to local companies. Prior to private practice, Dr. Shanbhag served as the Executive Director of a nonprofit agency coordinating maternal and child health systems and taught at the University of Florida.

Dr. Shanbhag graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her doctorate from the University of Florida after completing her psychology residency at the South Texas Veteran’s Health Care System in San Antonio, Texas. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Florida Psychological Association, and serves on the Board of the Central Chapter of area psychologists. She can be reached at 407-644-5598 or