Dr. Alan G. Ruth
BSc, MA, PhD (Psych), MBA, DipCBT, CSPP
APS Certified in Sleep Psychology Practice Accredited CBT for Insomnia Clinician
Thank you for visiting my website.
I work within the emerging discipline of behavioural sleep medicine and specialise in the treatment of chronic insomnia.
Behavioural Sleep Medicine is a fast growing speciality in the United States, within the professional field of sleep medicine. The U.S. based professional organisation for specialists in behavioural sleep medicine is the Society of Behavioural Sleep Medicine (SBSM). This organisation has professional members in many other countries, where professional bodies for this new speciality currently don’t exist. In Ireland, I am one of only two specialists who are professional members of SBSM.
The SBSM describes behavioural sleep medicine as:
“an expanding area of sleep psychology that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders by addressing behavioural, psychological, and physiological factors that interfere with sleep.”
In 2013, a petition from the Society of Behavioural Sleep Medicine (SBSM) for sleep psychology to be recognized as a specialty was approved by the American Psychological Association. Sleep Psychology is also recognized as a specialty in professional psychology by the Australian Psychological Association.
My background in health psychology, sleep psychology, physiology, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), CBT for insomnia (CBT-I), breathing retraining, stress and anxiety management, and mindfulness, has provided me with a very pertinent background to specialise in insomnia treatment, using a non-pharmacological approach.
The main therapeutic approach I employ in helping clients overcome insomnia is known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). I initially trained in the broader area of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) by gaining a Diploma in CBT in 2005. In 2014, I completed my initial clinical training in CBT-I with Dr. Gregg Jacobs. Prior to working as a consultant in private practice, Dr. Jacobs was an assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, where he developed the first drug-free program for insomnia (i.e. CBT-I) that proved to be more effective than sleeping pills. I am listed on Dr. Jacobs’ website as a clinician trained by him (see the International section of the following webpage):
Over the years, I’ve gained several qualifications in disciplines pertinent to the treatment of insomnia, and completed numerous CE (continuing education) programs. I have also had numerous articles published in publications such as: Modern Medicine: The Irish Journal of Clinical Medicine, Irish Psychiatrist, Irish Medical News, Nursing in General Practice, Irish Pharmacist, and Contentment (American Institute of Stress).
My articles have included ones on: cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia, cognitive restructuring, snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, managing stress and anxiety, breathing retraining, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques.
My pertinent training and qualifications include:
- BSc in Psychology & Physiology (Queen’s University Belfast)
- Chartered Biologist (Royal Society of Biology)
- PhD in Psychology (supervised by Prof. Owen Hargie, Ulster University)
- Certified in Sleep Psychology Practice, Australian Psychological Society
- Insomnia Practitioner Diploma (with distinction) ABC Awards
- Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Institute of Counselling, UK)
- Clinical training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia with Dr. Gregg Jacobs (principal developer of CBT-I for Insomnia whilst a researcher at Harvard Medical School)
- Masterclass Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford
- Diploma in Stress Management (Oxford, Cambridge & RSA Board)
- Professional Certificate in the Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness (Institute of Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy)
- Certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (Palouse Mindfulness, USA)
- Accredited Breathing Retraining Instructor (Buteyko Clinic International)
- Diploma in Anxiety Management (with distinction), UK College of Holistic Training
- Diploma in Applied Mindfulness (with distinction), UK College of Holistic Training
I’ve also successfully completed numerous continuing education certification courses on behavioural sleep medicine, sleep psychology, and cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia, with organizations such as the following:
Boston University School of Medicine, Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology, American Psychological Association, Australian Psychological Association, Los Angeles County Psychological Association, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and Baptist Health South Florida.
For more information, see:
Current professional affiliations:
- Member, Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine
- Member, Irish Sleep Society
- Member, British Sleep Society
- Member, UK Society for Behavioural Medicine
- Fellow, Buteyko Professionals International
Former professional affiliations:
- Member, Association for Psychological Science
- Member, The Physiological Society
- Fellow, American Institute of Stress
- Member, National Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists
- Fellow, Royal Society of Biology
- Member, International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy
- Member, European Health Psychology Society
Business background & business qualifications
I spent many years in the medical/healthcare industry. My roles included the following: General Manager (Ireland) for a multinational medical devices/surgical company, Managing Director (Ireland) for a multinational pharmaceutical company, and Chief Executive Officer for an Irish health trade association.
Following an early retirement from industry, I co-founded (with breathing expert Patrick McKeown), Buteyko Professionals International (BPI). For over two years, I acted in a voluntary capacity, as CEO of BPI. BPI is a membership organization within Buteyko Clinic International.
My business qualifications & awards are:
- MBA degree (academic prize winner) – Henley Management College (now Henley Business School
- MA (Marketing) degree (with distinction) – supervised by Prof. James Hill, Ulster University
- Chartered Institute of Marketing (Northern Ireland) Award for Best MA Dissertation