Featured Member - Michelle Dreup, PhD
Dr. Michelle Drerup is the Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, an integrated health care system serving the Cleveland metropolitan area and surrounding region. In addition, she serves as Director of the BSM training program and supervises post-doctoral health psychology fellows and sleep medicine fellows in the provision of BSM services. Dr Drerup has a special interest in integration of insomnia care within large health care systems and population-based management of insomnia. She developed a web-based CBT-i program for insomnia, Go! To Sleep, which is utilized as part of a stepped care plan for insomnia treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, but is also available to the general population as well. Her current research focuses on exploring the effectiveness of CBT-i (individual, group and web-based delivery) in insomnia comorbid with various neurological disorders (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease) and other medical conditions.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO SPECIALIZE IN BEHAVIORAL SLEEP MEDICINE?
About 12-13 years ago I got my first exposure to sleep psychology, quite by accident as many in the field can likely relate. During my post-doctoral fellowship in clinical health psychology at the Cleveland Clinic I was asked if I would like an opportunity to rotate one day a week at the Sleep Disorders Center. Prior to this rotation, the main focus of my internship and post-doc training had been general health psychology with a specialty focus in weight management and pre-surgical evals and treatment for bariatric patients. I had minimal training in sleep but I was intrigued as most of my bariatric/weight management patients were prescribed CPAP machines but not using them. After a few weeks of working in the Sleep Disorders Center, I realized I had found my true passion and my professional “home”. Upon completion of fellowship, I accepted a position as staff psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Canter and have been here since the start of my career. I am forever grateful to Kathy Ashton, PhD for her supervision, guidance and mentorship during my initial training in sleep, as well as for the leadership from our center director, Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS, who took a chance on hiring me straight out of post-doc and has allowed me to me to develop our Behavioural Sleep Medicine program over the years.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO EARLY CAREER INDIVIDUALS OR THOSE RESPECIALIZING IN BSM?
Don’t just join the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, be active and involved in the society. Volunteer for a committee, participate in the webinars and journal clubs, and attend conferences. Be bold and brave. Take risks. Stand up and ask that question of the speaker in a conference room full of hundreds of sleep experts – believe me, it will be noticed. Our organization is small, which makes networking and developing mentorship relationships much easier when compared to larger organizations - take advantage of it. Also be an advocate for our field in other organizations such as Society of Behavioral Medicine, American Psychological Association, and other psychological/health/medical organizations. Having our members spread the word about our society is our most successful opportunity to grow our field.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL TALENTS OR HOBBIES?
Many of my family and friends might say that my true talent is bargain shopping the Target clearance end caps. My hubby has gotten used to the guessing game I make him play after my weekly Target run – “This lamp retails for $59.99, guess how much I paid for it?” I also enjoy traveling, cooking, yoga and playing tennis. Spending time with my husband and two daughters, Emerson (age 8 ) and Elliana (age 5), is my favorite activity of all. We have a longstanding tradition of “Sunday Funday” in which we try to spend the day exploring new adventures, such as hanging out with friends and enjoying a craft beer (juice boxes for the under 21 crowd!) and board games at our local kid friendly brewery, paddleboarding on Lake Erie, or ice skating in downtown Cleveland on Public Square.