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Paradoxical intention and insomnia: an experimental investigation
Behaviour research and therapy
  • L. Michael Ascher, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • R. M. Turner
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A study by Turner and Ascher (1978) compared the efficacy of progressive relaxation, stimulus control, and paradoxical intention in ameliorating sleep onset insomnia. Results indicated that the three were equally effective. The present study is a partial replication of Turner and Ascher (1978) and focuses on the use of paradoxical intention in reducing sleep difficulties. Twenty-five individuals complaining of sleep discomfort were randomly assigned to three groups: paradoxical intention, placebo control, no treatment control. Clients in the paradoxical intention group were instructed to remain awake while lying in bed in a darkened room. The complete rationale for such a prescription was provided. Those in the placebo group received a pseudo systematic desensitization program. Results indicated that subjects exposed to the paradoxical intention procedure reported significant improvement on several measures of sleep behavior when compared with reports of subjects in either placebo or no-treatment control groups. © 1979.


This article was published in Behaviour research and therapy, Volume 17, Issue 4, Pages 408-411.

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Citation Information
L. Michael Ascher and R. M. Turner. "Paradoxical intention and insomnia: an experimental investigation" Behaviour research and therapy Vol. 17 Iss. 4 (1979) p. 408 - 411
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