If you find yourself getting sleepy well before your bedtime, get up and do something: call a friend, fold the laundry, do the dishes. This means no TV, computer, or radio while you're trying to fall asleep. These activities stimulate your brain and body and make falling asleep that much harder. Keep it dark and quiet. No argument will be made for the greater economy of group therapy, though this is an impressive consideration when the need for psychological help is so urgent, and clinic waiting lists so long. The possibility that group therapy may actually be more effective than individual therapy, for some people, will only be mentioned here in passing, for research evidence on this point is lacking, although in the neglected field of therapy for the normal person with debilitating situational conflicts group therapy appears to offer advantages over individual therapy. On some issues it will be necessary to write in a most tentative fashion. On other issues there have been enough observation and research to permit writing with some assurance. That the views presented will need to be modified with additional exploration, there is little doubt. There are many gaps and many unanswered questions. But even at this stage of development of group-centered therapy, those who have explored its possibilities and weighed its outcomes have gained a feeling of substance, and a desire to know more of the process. Groups of diverse composition and purpose have been worked with. Most of our experience has been with a selected population -- university students who found themselves disturbed and unable to gain from life the satisfactions they desired. Some of these people suffered from a temporary inability to cope with a situation (as the woman whose husband had been killed in the war and who had not been able to re-pattern her life after his death); It was a magnificent, tender hope for my life. My success-oriented parents intuited, correctly, that feminine beauty is currency, a success lever in our society, and perhaps even a precondition for success--one that arguably overshadows character development and earned achievements. They believed (and everything in our world and their experience confirmed) that the main tool a girl needs is beauty. My parents' hearts told them that femininity and feminine beauty would be the keys that unlocked hearts and doors for me. Like all parents with hearts full of love, they wanted that for me. They wanted everything for me.

Naming me Linda was an aspiration, an invocation and a plan. Not that my parents had any ties to its origins, which are Spanish and Portuguese. Their disdain for Brown people, in fact, made this more an act of cultural appropriation than admiration. Yet, for them, the definition was powerful: I would be beautiful. White-noise machines and blackout shades work wonders! Leave yourself at least half an hour to calm yourself and ready your body, mind, and spirit for a good night's sleep. Some things to consider for your routine: Take a warm bath, adding a few drops of a soothing essential oil such as lavender to the water. Warm water releases stressed-out muscles, and lavender relaxes the mind and body. Listen to soothing music. Just be sure to turn off the music when you're ready to go to sleep. Read a light article or magazine (though not in bed; Do some gentle stretches or calming yoga. Practice relaxing breathing (see this article in Day 4 for tips on technique). All shared this favorable characteristic: they felt keenly the discrepancy between themselves and their aspirations for themselves, and they actively sought help. In addition to a considerable amount of work with these normal but troubled individuals, there have been groups made up of people with some specific kind of problem or purpose: combat veterans with a psychiatric diagnosis of anxiety reaction; In the main, however, our efforts have been to help the average man, of whom there is certainly more than an average number. A major objective has been to discover more efficient ways of working with the great numbers of essentially normal people who find that life has lost its savor, who quietly struggle along with their problems, who pay great costs in extra energy for their achievements, and who have tremendous potential for responding to assistance. Concern for this large group of people stamps the account that follows. AN ILLUSTRATION OF GROUP-CENTERED THERAPY

It will be helpful first to see what happens when people come together in a group to work on their personal problems. Here is a verbatim transcript of part of a first hour of group-centered therapy with six university students, all preparing for jobs in schools or colleges. Jane Harrison, age 23, is a nursery school teacher. Kay Madison, age 35, is a guidance worker in a Southern high school. I would be welcome in the world. I would belong. There was, however, a flaw in that formula: I was not a girl. And femininity? Not my thing. I had my breasts removed in 2016. It's a surgery those of us in the transgender community call top surgery. I was fifty-two. Post-surgery, bandages removed, standing in front of a full-length mirror in the surgeon's office, was the first time I recognized my body as my own, in every way. Magnesium glycinate (240 mg before bedtime), melatonin (3 to 5 mg before bedtime for adults or 0. Please consult with your health professional for advice on what's right for you. Repeating a simple mantra--the same sound or phrase over and over again--will relax your restless mind, calm your heart rate, and eventually send you into slumber. As you say it, listen for the sound of the syllables in your head. Let the sentences run together over and over again as the pitch and tone lull you to sleep. Find one or more that work for you, jot them down on a piece of paper, and keep them on a bedside table.

Here are some examples: Sleep will come when it comes. Sleep cannot be rushed. None of my problems is so big that it can't wait until tomorrow. Anne Jensen, age 21, and the youngest member of this group, does not talk during this session. Mary Conway, age 33, has had several years' experience teaching English. Laura Preston, age 27, is a teacher and part-time school psychologist. Betty Arnold, age 28, has taught in secondary schools, is now working for an M. Jane: One thing I might say is my particular feeling that I want to work on a problem of the concept of dependence and independence in marriage. I've been married about a year and married to -- he's a law student -- who is primarily an unemotional person, and I would say there's a good deal of lack of understanding between us. The conflict was mainly one of my desire to be independent and not being independent, in the marriage relationship, and the marriage not being a fifty-fifty relationship. Leader: It's not wholly satisfactory to you now. Jane: No, it is not a satisfactory relationship, but I do think there's a good deal of possibility of its being a satisfactory relationship. Betty: (Pause. It looked right. Yes, this is my body. I remember asking when the swelling would go down. I'll never forget hearing the doctor say: That's not swelling. Those are your pectoral muscles. I love the symbolism of that moment, that my well-developed (gym-honed) strength, previously hidden behind my breasts, was now exposed.

I recognized the reflection as my own in every way. This was my body. I belong in this body. After a lifetime of seeing a stranger in the mirror, this was liberation. Things always look better and brighter in the light of day. I work hard and deserve my sleep. My sleep is well earned. Sleep is easy--babies can do it. Any workouts that get your heart rate up are best done in the morning or afternoon. In the evenings, stick with a more relaxing routine like yoga. Avoid coffee, soda, and other caffeinated drinks after midafternoon. Before bed, download what's on your mind so that it's less likely to keep you awake. Start a bedtime journal, and write down everything you're thinking about. Getting your thoughts and worries into your journal will get them out of your head for the time being and clear your mind. I feel confidence in being able to do things, but when I'm in a social group or in a classroom, I more or less withdraw and let everybody else do the talking and thinking. I think a lot of that is probably a result of the fact that in our family my father is a very dominant person, and is the person in the family so that everyone else is being subdued to his wishes. Now, I suppose that feeling carries over into other relationships too, a feeling of not being -- of not having a great deal of personal worth or value. Leader: You feel rather confident of your ability, privately or as an individual, yet when you work with people you tend to devaluate yourself. Betty: That's right. I tend to evade issues or withdraw -- instead of meeting them face on.