Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Principles and Practice Testimonials

The CBT-I Basic Seminar is a perfect learing opportunity for everyone interested in broading their knowledge about insomnia and how to treat it, but if you're not interested yet – you should sign up anyway, because you definitely will be! I've never realised how much fun learning can be until I joined this Seminar. It's hard to imagine that sitting three days for nine hours straight and talking about sleep might actually make me feel really excited. I was surprised by much enjoyable form of this lecture, and I want more – can't wait for an Advance Seminar to happen in April. And all this because of three incredibly smart, humorous, but most important of all PASSIONATE specialists, who fight insomnia in a really great way and like their work a lot. You are welcomed to join them, because they will definitely help you, and, as Michael Perlis says, "become a Jedi Master yourself, one day." Tempting? I say "go for it!"
Ewa (2015 Basic CBT-I Course)

"Dr. Perlis was an incredibly engaging and knowledgeable presenter. I really appreciated the contributions of Drs. Posner and Ellis on the more clinical aspects of CBTI as well. The workshop has fundamentally changed the way I understand insomnia and work with patients with insomnia, as well as how I approach my own periods of insomnia. It has also spurred my interest in further training in working with patients with sleep disorders.

JB, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Washington State (2015 Basic CBT-I Course)

"After becoming interested in sleep medicine during the last two years, I set the goal of attending the 3-day Principles and Practice of CBT-I seminar to gain some formal training.  This program was outstanding.  Dr. Michael Perlis conveyed his vast knowledge, research, and experience of insomnia treatment in a flowing, understandable way, which was complemented with clinical examples and knowledge from Dr. Donn Posner and Dr. Jason Ellis. To commence learning about thoroughly researched, evidence-based CBT-I, from three of the world's leading clinicians was indeed a privilege.  Beyond the 3-day seminar, Dr. Perlis provided additional material for all attendees to use in their individual clinical work with future clients.

The support staff also provided excellent, overall organization of the event.  I would highly recommend any interested health professional to this seminar.  I am already looking forward to returning for the advanced CBT-I training program in the near future. Thank you all for this opportunity."

Geoff B, Intern Psychologist, Brisbane, Australia (2015 Basic CBT-I course)

"What a fantastic course. ‘Principles & Practice of CBT-I' greatly exceeded my expectations by providing a stimulating and enjoyable programme of content that will appeal to all clinicians interested in treating insomnia, regardless of their experience in sleep medicine. The scientific rigour underpinning all aspects of the programme was particularly impressive – you will not leave this course without learning something new and important. Despite some previous BSM training this seminar greatly enhanced my ability to work effectively with patients with insomnia. Guidance on how to manage patient resistance was especially useful. Dr Perlis also spared no effort to ensure that every attendee could maximise their learning opportunity and provided more than ample time for queries and dialogue. He was ably supported by 2 other leaders in the field - Dr Posner and Dr Ellis - who provided additional expertise and refreshing counterpoint.  A great investment and well worth the trip (and jet lag!)."

JG, Psychologist, Dublin, Ireland (2015 Basic CBT-I course)

"Amazing learning experience! The 3-day Principles and Practice of CBTI course, given by Prof. Michael Perlis, was an outstanding opportunity to expand my knowledge about sleep and insomnia in general, and to get familiar with CBTI in particular. Prof. Perlis, armed with endless knowledge and experience of CBTI, a great sense of humor, a passion to the sleep research, and a lot of patience to our questions, made this course so important and unique. Along with his colleagues Prof. Donn Posner and Prof. Jason Ellis, who brought their own angle of experience in providing CBTI to various populations, he made the course fascinating and enriching. I think it is rare to find scientists and therapists who are so generous with their students, and I thank Prof Perlis and his colleagues for being so generous. Highly recommended!"

Kochav B, PhD Student, CCRN, Israel (2015 Basic CBTI Course)

"I attended your CBT-I workshop at Penn this past weekend and want to thank you for a terrific training event. There were so many aspects of the training which exceeded expectations that it's a little hard to provide concise feedback, but I'd like to offer the three of you more than just a general thumbs up of satisfaction. I was struck by the diversity of professional disciplines in attendance and thought you accommodated very well the varying levels of experience and prior exposure to behavioral concepts and sleep medicine.  That's a tough thing to pull off and I thought the course content, while challenging in scope, was still approachable. There's a saying in aviation that when you obtain your pilot's license it is a 'license to learn', meaning that the license is a foundation for further learning and skill development.

In a similar way, I thought you structured the workshop to be a great foundational training event which I'll be able to build upon.  And you were all very supportive and encouraging in developing positive expectancies that we trainees will be able to continue learning on our own as we develop CBT-I treatment skills. Lots and lots of very useful information delivered in a relaxed atmosphere.  Your commitment to developing more CBT-I boots on the ground is apparent in the effort you put into designing the workshop.  If asked whether I would refer a colleague to this training I would most certainly say "yes". And thank you for the gift basket!  Yikes!  What a treasure trove of info!  I'd already purchased Michael's Treating Sleep Disorders as well as Behavioral Treatments for Sleep Disorders but hadn't dived into them.

This said… It's great that you have them… and even better that you have NOT read them…I am a firm believer that reading works best… when you read with ideas and questions. Between those readings and the resources in the gift basket I think I'll have a solid exposure to the literature and I look forward to developing intervention skills through supervision.  Also, I really appreciated the handout itself, with all the ppt slides and additional materials--a great resource in itself which required considerable effort on your parts. I don't have any suggestions for improvement.  I do wonder what material you opted to exclude from the training in the interest of brevity.  I'm sure the three of you debated about what content had to be chopped to keep the training to three days--hearing of that list of topics would be interesting. So, thanks again and once I've incorporated CBT-I into my practice and have accrued some experience I look forward to doing an advanced training with you sometime in the future."

John J, (2015 Basic CBTI Course)

"Last year, Cat, Heng, and I had the opportunity to attend a training seminar hosted by Dr. Michael Perlis on CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I) after attending his Psychotherapy Professorship. It was a truly fantastic experience for us - not only is it a phenomenal introduction to the theory and techniques of CBT-I, it's also a great review/overview of sleep disorders, including psychology and biology. There are opportunities after the seminar to pursue additional experience and supervision in CBT-I, but even if you don't do so, I think you'd find the information to be immensely helpful in conceptualizing and offering support to your patients with various sleep problems."

KD, Psychiatry Resident- PGY4, Philadelphia, PA (2014 Basic CBTI Course)

"Very good conference. I learned a lot over 3 days! Appreciated the humor"

Psychiatrist, Philadelphia (2014 Basic CBTI Course)

"It was an excellent workshop -- I loved Perlis' presentations and the team approach."

Social Worker, MD (2014 Basic CBTI Course)

"The Principals and Practice of CBT-I Course was a great value for the money, I thought, especially with all the gift basket materials...I found the material in the course to be interesting and challenging. So much information was packed in the three days that I think I saw smoke coming out of my brain!...[Dr. Perlis (Michael)'s] personality, style, and humor made learning enjoyable, never dry. I think this is an asset given the clinical nature and difficulty of the material....Dr. [Don] Posner was wonderful in delivering great points, important clarifications, and straight, no-nonsense information. The two of them are a great team!"

Terry, MS, LPC-IT (2014 CBTI Course)

"What an absolute privilege it was to sit in your seminar. I hate workshops and congresses but know I have to attend. With your input I actually was captured by the material and the your presentation. I looked forward to the second day and enjoyed that to. Thank you I haven't enjoyed a workshop in a long time. Thank you for your goodie bag and for your offer to continually support us via newsletters etc."

South Africa CBT-I Seminar 2012 (Two day Seminar)

"...We really appreciated the two day workshop with your energy, intellect and wisdom…"

South Africa CBT-I Seminar 2012 (Two day Seminar)

When I heard that the course was three days long, I thought – "what can be said about Insomnia that takes 3 days?!"… When I realized the course was 1 lecturer, I thought "if this guy is bad, this could be a 3 day long nightmare?!". Despite these reservations, I signed up for the course. Having taken the course, I now know what I didn't know… in fact the course could have easily be a 5 day offering.  As for the speaker, he is energetic, intense, and engaging… my interest never wavered. This said, his orientation is "evidence based practice" (both re: Principles / foundational knowledge and re: his approach to practice). Those that gravitate towards more general psychotherapy may not like the course.

(Minneapolis 2011 )

As a relative newcomer to the field, I found this an exceptional opportunity. One comprehensive course covered the theory, research and clinical aspects of CBT-I along with sessions on medical sleep disorders, enabling me to synthesize introductory material I had been exposed to in conferences and clinical training.

Because the fundamentals are explained as well as the nuances of the conceptual models, the course is highly valuable for practitioners new to the field as well as those with some background.

While Dr. Perlis is a leading CBT-I expert, he was able to translate his advanced knowledge of the topic in terms understandable to a beginning CBT-I practitioner. Dr. Perlis' outstanding sessions included excellent lectures with incredibly valuable content taught in a highly engaging and interactive manner. Moreover, Dr. Perlis put great effort in securing superb visuals that enhanced the learning. Dr. Perlis, who is an author of one of one of the principle CBTI books and instrumental in the field, was very approachable and accessible. Therefore, the experience served as a welcoming introduction into the BSM community.

Furthermore, Dr. Perlis took great care to insure that the facilities and refreshments were excellent and to suggest nearby restaurants and tourist attractions. All this made for a very educational, stimulating and enjoyable three days.

The knowledge I gained in three days far exceeded my expectations. I have already incorporated the material learned in work with my patients. To health professionals seeking to expand your CBT-I capability, take this course!

R.W. PhD, Clinical Psychologist, New York, NY

"As sleep professionals who already had theoretical and practical experience with researching and treating various sleep disorders, we were not sure what to expect from the course, and whether it would meet our clinical needs.  To say the least, we were happily surprised.  The course, although tailored to the more novice sleep clinician, was detailed enough to provide us with multiple novel and creative techniques when dealing with more complicated (e.g. medical or psychiatric co-morbidities), resistant, and/or unmotivated patients. We truly believe that the course made us better CBT-I clinicians, allowing us to hone our skills while strengthening the confidence in our abilities."

T.S. and M.C.Z., psychologists, Israel

After learning about this course in the APA Monitor, I was very interested in pursuing CBT-I, but unable to make time for the course for a couple of years. It was well worth the wait. Dr. Perlis is engaging and thorough in presenting the science behind CBT-I, as well as the process of the protocol itself. He makes good use of audio-visuals to illustrate scientific data and clinical sketches of this intervention. With participants from a variety of healthcare professions, the clinical work really comes alive with audience participation in discussions and role plays. I highly recommend it.

S.M., Clinical Psychologist, Philadelphia, PA

I would recommend the CBT-I seminar presented by Michael Perlis, Ph.D., to anyone interested in learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. Dr. Perlis brings the material to life with his lively, engaging humor and multi-media presentations that include videos of live sessions and session by session outlines of CBT-I. A generous soul - Dr. Perlis gives each participant a "Gift Basket" filled with ready to use forms, sample brochures, resource listings and research articles.

M.K., Psy.D., Psychologist, Boynton Beach, USA

At last a treatment for insomnia that doesn't require medication. As a neurologist involved in sleep disorders, this course is a must. It is entertaining and cutting edge informative. I recommend it highly to all Neurologists and Psychiatrists.

V.F., M.D., Neurologist, Arcadia, CA

Dr. Perlis had a fabulous sense of humor and he was warm and engaging. He outlined a very precise treatment protocol that is evidence based and easy to replicate.

S.M., M.S.N., Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Philadelphia, PA

From my perspective as a psychologist, I found the review of the components of CBT-I most helpful; common clinical concerns as well as specific procedures were discussed in detail. From my perspective as a clinician working in a sleep disorders center, I found the review of the etiology and pathophysiology of insomnia comprehensive and informative. An overview of other sleep disorders for differential diagnosis provided a complete clinical picture. I highly recommend this course to all clinicians working with patients who have insomnia.

L.M.C., Psychologist, Milwaukee, WI

I recommend this conference to all psychologists and therapists in practice. If you don't know how to help your clients with chronic insomnia, you are doing them a disservice in your treatment of their depression and anxiety. I am so grateful to have these skills in my CBT toolbox. Dr. Perlis and Dr. Posnerare incredibly approachable and informative both during and after the conference! The conference was excellent and well worth the cost!

J.P., Psychologist & Professional Counselor, Wilmington, NC
(2008 Course - Washington)

This course is well-organized, presents CBT-I clearly, and provides an excellent introduction to the world of behavioral sleep medicine. Dr. Perlis is extremely knowledgeable and has a good sense of humor -- a winning combination!

E.B., Psychologist, Albany, CA
(2008 Course - Washington)

I thoroughly enjoyed [the course] and left with examples of forms and diaries and confidence to expand my practice. Michael is enthusiastically liberal with his experience and expertise.

N.N., Family Nurse Practitioner, Boise, ID
(2008 Course - Washington DC)

Perlis is passionately dedicated to the process of teaching others CBT-I. During his "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia 2009" course, his wit entertained me while his vast knowledge of sleep medicine and CBT-I was impressive. Perlis graciously extended his presentation hours due to participants requesting additional time for training. His course was a great follow-up to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine course (Evaluation and Management of Insomnia 2009) or to your own reading/work with insomnia/treatment. Perlis focused his course on important topics related to insomnia including: definition/comorbidity, theory/insomnia models, research findings, pharmacology, contraindications, assessment tools/questionnaires, video clips/case presentations, and the implementation of CBT-I treatment sessions. This is a great training for expanding your understanding of CBT-I and adding tricks to your grab bag.

(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

I attended the CBT-I 2009 workshop conducted by Dr. Perlis and Dr. Posner and found this to be a very valuable experience. The level and amount of information disseminated was excellent, and allowed for immediate clinical applications. The presentation held my interest for the entire three days. There were ample opportunities for questions and discussion. I would highly recommend this workshop for anyone interested in working in the behavioral sleep medicine field.

C.S., Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Concord, NC
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

I thoroughly enjoyed your course. It helped to integrate my previous readings on the topic and some clinical experience with insomnia patients bringing me on the much higher level of expertise. Although I did not become a "sleep psychologist", I gained confidence and knowledge to address my patient's problems with insomnia in my private practice. The strategies and steps I learned from you allow me to provide relief for my patients gaining their trust and enhancing their sense of mastery. I often remember and use your line about insomnia giving a gift of more time.

It is also great that you put effort in creating community of us - fellow-attendees.

E.K., PhD, Private Practice, East Brunswick, NJ 
(2008 Course - Washington DC)

I thoroughly enjoyed three days filled with state of the art knowledge in CBT-I delivered with Dr. Perlis' unique touch of humor. I have integrated much of it into my daily practice of Sleep Medicine.

W.P., MD, Sleep Specialist, Hartford, CT
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

The course was a great overview of insomnia and the application of CBT- I. [What] was most impressive was Dr. Perlis' ability to integrate humor, research and clinical practice in his discussion of the major points relating to CBTI. Michael was so committed to his students. He worked tirelessly to prepare effective materials for the class, covered a ton of material in a few days, was generous in sharing his wisdom and clinical tools and was truly dedicated to ensuing a good experience for the attendees. Well done! Thank you!

M.K., PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, New York, NY

I attended the BSM training with Drs. Perlis and Posner and felt the material was well organized balance of empirical findings and clinical pearls. The presentation style of each allowed for questions, comments and discussion of this significant area in the practice of Sleep Medicine. The contacts for registration, proceedings announcements and my class completion certificate were very professional. I have found the handout booklet to be a very valuable resource. In all the experience of signing up, taking the class and applying the lessons learned was excellent. I highly recommend the class as a preparation for the BSM exam and as a review for those with the certification and work experience.

K.S.R., PhD., C.BSM

Well organized and encyclopedic...didn't sleep through any sessions!

D.M.K., Psychologist, West Des Moines, IA

Loved the course. Packed full with useful how-to information! One of the better CMEs I've done. Dr. Perlis went above and beyond providing us with what we needed and requested. Worth every penny!

Marilyn, Clinical Health Psychologist 
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

I attended the seminar as a graduate student in psychology with a developing interest in sleep disorders and Behavioral Sleep Medicine. The course provided an excellent overview of the research in addition to skills training specifically in CBT for insomnia. I also appreciated the broad introduction to the field and found the review of diagnostic and assessment considerations most helpful! I would highly recommend this course to other trainees!

Anonymous from MA

Excellent course that demonstrated the power of CBT-I to help with insomnia. Dr. Perlis' knowledge of the subject is remarkable, his presentation style is engaging, and you are sure to leave the course with useful knowledge and skills to enhance your clinical practice. Highly recommended.

G.G., PhD, ABPP, Clinical Psychologist, Media, PA

This course is quite possibly the best investment one can make into getting specialized training in CBT-I! The course is packed with information, yet logically laid out and very well paced. The instructor is arguably the Nation's expert on the topic, and also has the (somewhat rare) ability to translate the research into an easily digestible, and often entertaining, presentation. Great for beginners with little background/training on CBT-I or for those wanting a refresher or to consolidate their knowledge. I highly recommend it!

Simon PsyD, ABPP, ACT, New York, NY 10022 
(2007 - Rochester)

I found the course very helpful after having already read the book and tried applying the techniques at the insistence of a doctor certified in sleep medicine in the city. Treatment has been extraordinarily effective with a number of clients with insomnia no longer a problem, with some getting off all "sleep medicine," and some reducing the amounts of soporifics taken. Almost all patients reach Sleep Efficiency in the 90%+ range. I had one "star" patient who had been to numerous doctors to solve her problems including Mayo's, who was told at Mayo to find someone who did CBT-I. She functioned fine after five visits with high sleep efficiency, fast sleep onset, occasional short awakenings after sleep onset, and no sleep meds., of course, all verified by sleep logs she faithfully kept.

S.B., PhD, Licensed psychologist

...a must for any practitioner or sleep center looking to start a program for the treatment of insomnia.

A.S., APN from Little Rock, AR 
(2007 - Rochester)

Dr. Perlis is not only a well-respected scholar in the field but a wonderful has revolutionized my thinking.

David H., PhD from Mukilteo, WS
(2007 - Rochester)

The course content is excellent; the speaker is extremely well prepared; and the gift basket is very useful.

Psychologist from New York State 
(2008 - Rochester)

[Dr. Perlis'] energy, humor, depth of knowledge, and engaging style kept my interest throughout.

(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

Dr. Perlis' ability to explain complex concepts in understandable ways (with his candid, personal, and creative style) was extraordinary.

(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

The speaker was very knowledgeable and motivating with a relaxed and amusing presentation style. I learned a lot and look forward to further training.

(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

I have never been to a conference where the participants interrupted and called out the speakers name [with questions and challenges] during the seminar... but I also usually stay below the Mason-Dixon line ! LOL.

(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

I am a psychologist with a lot of background in CBT and a reasonable amount of experience working with sleep problems. I found the 3 day course on CBTI to be packed with useful information, and practical learning that is enabling me to provide empirically sound effective treatment in my practice. I highly recommend this training for anyone who wants to work with behavioral medicine / sleep concerns even if it is not the major focus of your work.

J.M., Ph.D. ABPP ACT, South Portland, ME 
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

The seminar has been very beneficial in my practice. I have started sleep restriction therapy at our clinic which is comprised of 4 board certified sleep MDs, a 12 bed sleep lab, along with a total of 9 pulmonologists and have so far seen a success with it. CBT-I therapy is much needed in my area and the seminar by Dr. Perlis is an absolute necessity if you plan to conduct CBT-I or any type of sleep restriction. All sleep labs should offer therapy for insomnia besides medication. Thanks for adding to my practice!

Anonymous certified nurse practitioner 
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

I think one of the biggest strengths has been the wealth of information that was shared at the conference and beyond. Also, the "gift basket" allows one to listen and not have to frantically write down information. I also liked the interactive format between [Dr. Perlis] and the participants and I thought that [he and] Don (Posner) complemented each other quite well and allowed different perspectives. I liked [his] willingness to stay as late as needed and, even though the days were long, I found it so engaging that I rarely found the need to look at my watch to see when the day would be ending. One of the best seminars I have been to and would highly recommend it.

P.W., Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Evansville, IN
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

As the founder of Clinical Sleep Counseling, my interest in attending the CBT-I course involved deciding if I could recommend this specialized training to non-medical, largely master's level mental health practitioners. In brief, the answer is YES. Sleep research, overview of sleep disorders/meds, insomnia theory and CBT-I practice methods were artfully balanced with attentiveness to the questions/comments of participants in an energetic style generously lubricated by humor. The material was robust and fascinating without being overwhelming or intimidating for a non-medical participant. I strongly suggest that psychotherapists read Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia by Dr. Perlis before attending this highly recommended course.

R.E.M., Clinical Social Worker, Catskill, NY
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

CBT-I was an excellent course. I would recommend it to any therapist interested in becoming more skilled in the behavioral treatment of insomnia. The incorporation of relevant research and medical information with behavioral clinical specifics was clearly a primary strength. In addition, participants learn enough about treatment procedures and practical problems to at least start CBT-I in their communities. The interaction of students from various professional backgrounds further enhanced the learning process.

Joe, Clinical Psychologist, Johnson City, TN 
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

I found the course extremely enlightening and very well-orchestrated. Michael brings with him a wealth of theoretical and clinical material delivered with confidence and humor. I experienced no drowsy moments during the encounter.

Y.P., Clinical Psychologist, Jerusalem
(2009 Course - Tel Aviv)

Although I was familiar with broad concept of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia, and used its various components in instructing my patients, the intensive three-day seminar opened my eyes to many aspects I was not aware of. The workshop was very well built, bringing the participant from milestone to milestone in a didactic and streamlined manner. The content was very appropriate, starting with the theoretical background through practical approach, all the way to structured CBT sessions. The whole workshop was richly spiced with practice pearls, both on slides and orally, which greatly enlivened the seminar. The whole experience was very interactive and enjoyable, even joyful, not the least due to the skills and the personality of the speaker. I liked the experience very much, it enriched my skills and knowledge, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Oh, and the Gift Basket - don't give up on that, and don't wait for the holidays!!

B.E., MD, Neurology and Sleep Medicine 
(2009 Course Tel-Aviv, Israel)

The CBT-I course was one of the best courses I've been to. The content was of great value in my practice and continues to be a handy reference for my patients. It was jam packed full of take home clinical pearls to use every day. The slides were to the point and full of information to use in your practice and the videos were just what you needed to put it all together. If you didn't leave there ready to do CBT-I at your office then you must have been sleeping or skipped the whole course. Michael Perlis is funny and very knowledgeable makes things interesting and is very matter of fact. Last but not least was the gift basket that was over the top. Thanks again for putting together the CBT-I course.

M.A., ANP, Newark, DE 
(2009 Course - Philadelphia)

Back to Top