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Tinnitus E-Programme

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Group 2 TFI Initial Category 4

Change achieved by those starting the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme with a Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 4: 54-72% (big problem)  

Laura, UK
Review written at Stage 6 (of 12) 21 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) 56.8% > 34.8% (category 4: 54-72% big problem > category 3: 32-53% moderate problem)

Q: Do you recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme?
A: "There is no cure for tinnitus, so the only option is to learn to live with it. This course teaches you the tools to be able to do that, with expert support from Debbie. You have to commit to it, using the breathing and relaxation exercises everyday as well as the cognitive work, but it's well worth the effort. I have already felt the benefit and I'm only halfway through the course."

Q: What benefit have you experienced using the relaxation element of the course so far?
A: "I was already doing a short relaxation exercise each evening and was familiar with focusing on the breath through doing tai chi. However, doing the breathing and relaxation exercises on a regular basis throughout the day has certainly helped to calm me down and reduce my anxiety levels."

Q: How has the neuroscience-based learning about the amygdala, autonomic ladder and brain plasticity helped you to relate to your experience of tinnitus, anxiety and stress?
A: "It has been interesting to learn about what is happening from a neuroscience perspective. It has helped to make sense of how I have been feeling and reacting to the tinnitus and what I need to do to achieve change."

Q: What have you learned from the costs & benefits transaction work (used from stage 3)? Estimate how much you have already adjusted from having a problem-oriented perspective towards a recovery-oriented perspective (e.g. 2/10 > 7/10 indicates an improvement of 5 so far)
A: "From doing the Costs & Benefits Transaction work and the Meaning Adjuster, I have realised how much I had been filtering out the positive and catastrophising and how unhelpful this has been. Through regular practice, I am trying to change to a more recovery-orientated perspective. Some days it is easier to do this than others, but overall, I am feeling less distressed and more like 'me'. There is more work to do, but I would estimate that I have seen an improvement of 2/10 > 6/10."

Q: You are likely to have had your first 1-1 by now. Did you benefit from your 1-1 and if so, how?
A: "It was reassuring to talk to Debbie, who understood what I had been experiencing. It was encouraging to be told that I was doing okay."

Q: What is your own impression of your progress to date?
A: "There is no doubt that I have made progress (as I keep reminding myself!). My mid-term measures prove this. I have largely lost the sense of fear that I had and am starting to feel more like 'me' and enjoy life more again. I am sleeping better. There are still good days and difficult days, but even on difficult days when the tinnitus does seem intrusive or after an unexpected loud noise event, I am not getting as distressed as I used to and there are parts of each day when I forget about it. Obviously, I still wish i didn't have this tinnitus, but I feel I am on the road to being able to accept it as an unimportant part of being me. There's more work to do to achieve that, though."
Julia, UK
Review written post-Stage 12 (of 12) 17 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 64.4% > 9.6% > 5.6% (category 4: 54-72% big problem > category 1: not a problem)

Q: How much difference has the overall course made for you?
A: "It's made a huge difference. I am now beginning a slow phased return to work having been off since November 2022. It's made me understand that my tinnitus isn't something I need to worry about and it's also helped me take stock of my work life balance and address some of the issues that were causing me to be off work due to stress anyway. It's taught me a lot about myself."

Final review:
"The Tinnitus E-Programme is a hugely beneficial programme that has helped and supported me through a very stressful and anxious period of my life. I've not only learnt about tinnitus and that it isn't dangerous for me, but I've also learnt much about myself that will help me both in my personal and professional life. The content will help me immensely in my own job in terms of being an even better school leader. It's helped me gain perspective in my own life and has helped me understand how and where I can make changes in my thoughts and attitudes to be more effective professionally as well as living a better quality of life. Even though this has been a really horrible few months for me, I couldn't be more grateful for this programme and for Debbie's support and guidance, which has really got me through. I couldn't be more happy that I'm now embarking on a phased return to work and I'm really hoping that it will be successful. I know where to come back to if I have any self doubt and will ensure that I build the exercises into my self care regime moving forward!"

Q: Do you recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme?
A: "Absolutely - for all of the reasons explained above."

Julia's Review written at Stage 7 (of 12) 6 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 64.4% > 9.6% at Stage 6 of 12

"I was completely new to relaxation - I don't think I've ever relaxed properly! This has made the biggest difference to me. Since beginning Stage 3 relaxation exercises the pulsatile tinnitus stopped overnight and now I only seem to get it occasionally. Long may this last! I've had an array of other issues however all linked, stress and anxiety and menopause related. I've even learnt that tinnitus can be linked with the menopause too. The relaxation has significantly helped with other anxieties and pains which have not been directly related to tinnitus and for this I'm so grateful!

As a teacher I love learning, so all of it I have found fascinating and I've learnt a lot about myself which I hope will stay with me and help moving forward long term."

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "Yes indeed. When I first started this I didn't really believe that I'd ever not have tinnitus on my mind and be stressed about it. I'm still anxious and stressed about other things and the programme will really help not only with tinnitus distress but other anxiety and stresses too."
Simon, UK
Mid-course review written at Stage 6 (of 12) 17 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) 70.0% > 28.8% (category 4: big problem > category 2: small problem)

Q: Do you recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme?
A: "Yes. My advice would be that the understanding of the brains capacity to alter, and the advice provided on generating a positive attitude are invaluable. I would advise though that some content does seem quite technical and not always easy to absorb."

Q: What benefit have you experienced using the relaxation element of the course so far?
A: "I have never tried relaxation techniques before so all the breathing/relaxation exercises are new to me. Without exception, these have been very helpful, not only in teaching me (my brain), to have a much calmer approach to tinnitus, even if the tinnitus remains. For example, if I suddenly find myself in a ‘tinnitus storm’, a pause in whatever I am doing and a few minutes breathing exercise will lower my anxiety levels and restore equilibrium to the day, even if the tinnitus does not disappear. There is a further point to make. The relaxation exercises have improved my life overall. I have a history of being a bit wound up, or tense, over worrying about things. Whilst this has never been to such a degree of making me ill, it has made me into a bit of a worrier. The relaxation exercises have without any doubt made me calmer, able to recognise when I am being unnecessarily worried about things. My attitude to life has improved."

Q: How has the neuroscience-based learning about the amygdala, autonomic ladder and brain plasticity helped you to relate to your experience of tinnitus, anxiety and stress?
A: "I understand the theory that has been described but I still want to go back to the early stages and re-read the parts concerning the amygdala, the hippocampus etc, as I am not sure all the component parts of the process of brain function are embedded in my brain. I do recognise the ability for the brain to change and the plasticity of the neural pathways. I understand how this can affect men experience of tinnitus."

Q: What have you learned from the Costs & Benefits Transaction work (used from Stage 3)? Estimate how much you have already adjusted from having a PROBLEM-ORIENTED perspective towards a RECOVERY-ORIENTED perspective (e.g. 2/10 > 7/10 indicates an improvement of 5 so far)
A: "Everything I think about tinnitus comes from a recovery orientated position. Whilst I have not been good at sending in a Costs & Benefits Transaction as often as I should, I absolutely understand the necessity of a positive mental attitude. The reading that you have provided reinforces this at every level."

Q: You are likely to have had your first 1-1 by now. Did you benefit from your 1-1 and if so, how?
A: "I did not know how the 1-1 was going to be structured, and to some extent thought it might be more of a therapy session than general conversation about my progress. I have a second session booked and will be more prepared with specific areas I wish to discuss. We had a pleasant discussion and touched on various topics concerning my progress, I felt relaxed and comfortable after the session.”

Q: What is your own impression of your progress to date?
A: "I am calm and relaxed about my tinnitus, the course has taught me that. My tinnitus has not gone away, I do not know even if it has altered at all, but I suppose my perception has altered. I think that without the course, I would not have been able to shift my mindset in such a positive way."
Juha, Finland
Review written at stage 6 (of 12) 12 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) 59.6% > 36.4% (category 4: big problem > category 3: moderate problem)

Q: Do you recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme?
A: "Yes, I would highly recommend this course. If you have tried (or read about) cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for tinnitus distress before and it didn’t help, don’t be discouraged. This course is exceptionally well planned and organized, and the process is long enough (12 stages, at least 12 weeks, usually more) to make the change possible. The course aims to help not only with tinnitus distress but also with the anxiety, the trauma reactions and the depressive symptoms, which are often part and parcel of the situation. That and the combination of neuroscience, trauma psychotherapy perspective and CBT makes this course unique."

Q: What benefit have you experienced using the relaxation element of the course so far?
A: "Before I started this course, I was worried that relaxation might be difficult for me. Trying deliberately to relax has previously often had an opposite effect: I became more tense. I was quite experienced in the meditation practice, where the intention is not to relax but to notice what is happening and just be with it, but after the tinnitus onset even the meditation was challenging – now there was too much to notice. The relaxation exercises used in this course have been different and more helpful than I expected. Especially I’ve liked the physiological relaxation exercises and the short breathing exercises, but all the exercises have been useful. The relaxation exercises have helped my mind and body to calm down and to restore better balance of the nervous system. The brief relaxation exercises are done several times each day, which helps physiological and psychological effects to cumulate, and it also keeps the change process and recovery perspective actively in your mind."

Q: How has the neuroscience-based learning about the amygdala, autonomic ladder and brain plasticity helped you to relate to your experience of tinnitus, anxiety and stress?
A: "The neuroscience-based learning has been immensely helpful. It has helped me to understand the mechanisms of tinnitus distress and the ways to promote change at deeper, neurophysiological and neuropsychological, levels. Debbie has chosen valuable information and explained well how it relates to the tinnitus distress. By doing the exercises and the practices, you are forming and strengthening new neural connections and pathways that help you to habituate to tinnitus. Keeping that in mind gives a lot of hope and motivation during the difficult times which are an inevitable part of the change process."

Q: What have you learned from the Costs & Benefits Transaction work (used from Stage 3)? Estimate how much you have already adjusted from having a PROBLEM-ORIENTED perspective towards a RECOVERY-ORIENTED perspective (e.g. 2/10 > 7/10 indicates an improvement of 5 so far):
A: "The Costs & Benefits Transaction perspective has been elucidating. You end up choosing and getting stuck in the problem-oriented perspective so easily, as if that perspective itself, not you, is making the choice. Fortunately, it’s possible to strengthen the recovery-oriented perspective and by doing that to activate the underlying neural circuitry, which brings change (different “firing and wiring”) also in the brain. At the beginning of the course, I was recovery-oriented maybe at the level of 4/10, now I’m maybe at the level of 7/10, so there is still work to be done. At the conscious level the change in the perspective comes faster than at the automatic/implicit (unconscious) level."

Q: You are likely to have had your first 1-1 by now. Did you benefit from your 1-1 and if so, how?
A: "Yes I did. It was important to discuss with Debbie and get support and guidance from her. The email support has also been a valuable part of the course. Debbie has always answered quickly to my questions when I’ve been uncertain or worried about how to proceed in the course. It’s reassuring to know that Debbie is there, willing and capable of providing help when needed. Debbie’s expertise in the neuroscience-based CBT approach to tinnitus distress is exceptionally comprehensive."

Q: What is your own impression of your progress to date?
A: "I’ve made progress since starting this course in April 2023. There have been ups and downs, the progress is not linear, as Debbie reminds, but I’m feeling and functioning much better than I did before the course. I’ve had some physical health problems which have had a negative effect, but this course has also helped coping with them."
Ellen, UK
Review written post-Stage 12
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 62.4% > 28.0% (category 4: big problem > category 2: small problem)

Q: How much difference has the overall course made for you?
A: "When I look back at my first outcome measures, and then at my first thought records and meaning adjusters, I can see a big difference. Also when I think back to how I felt, thought, acted at the beginning around the tinnitus (and at times during the course too). I can manage and enjoy life better now. I am more hopeful and more positive about the future. I has also shown me what I can do (in terms of making brain changes, dealing with a very distressing thing etc). Also, what I have been provided/offered through the NHS in my area is very minimal compared and I’m very grateful this course was here."

Final Review
"I’m very grateful for Debbie to have set up this course for those with tinnitus distress. I have been doing the 12 module course as my tinnitus distress was pretty high at the start. I was finding my tinnitus very difficult to manage, and also the experience quite unsettling and confusing as I didn’t really know what was going on. Now, I am better at living with my tinnitus rather than it running my life, and I am enjoying life more again and feeling better in myself and about the future. I found the combination of things on the course really helpful - that each stage developed my knowledge and understanding, and also had practical things to be doing, and also how the course focuses on calming fight/flight states first and moves on to more cognitive work later - and that the process is explained and the course is well structured and thought through. I found it helpful to be able to do most of the course self-directed around my life, but was also able to discuss with Debbie at times."

Q: Do you recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme?
A: "Yes. The programme takes commitment but the way it is designed means real and lasting positive change can take place."
Callum, Australia
Review written at Stage 7 (of 12) 10 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 68.0% > 29.6% at Stage 6 of 12

“I am amazed at how much my life has changed since I started this programme. Tinnitus had become central and all consuming, and I felt a failure to my wife and kids. I’d even had to take time away from work because of it. Now, I’m not only back at work, but back to the bike rides, and days out enjoying life with my family again. I’ve taken my time through the modules as the course recommends, and now just 10 weeks later I’ve reached stage 7. What helped so much especially in the first few weeks was learning how much difference such a basic thing as breathing made for me. I really needed the physiological relaxation too as I was so stressed and tense, although I didn’t need it anymore after about 4 weeks - exactly as Debbie said at the beginning. I use the Autogenics now and I’m hooked! As far as tinnitus is concerned, I hardly notice it now and when I do, it doesn’t bother me. I just wish I’d found this program earlier. Thank you Debbie.”

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "Yes I would. I read these reviews before I started the course and they did, in part, help me to decide to sign up. If it helps anyone else, I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with it, but on the contrary, I have felt in control of how I pace it. This is something I learned early on from Debbie and it's paid off in bucket loads!"  
Declan, UK
Completed
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 66.0% > 6.4% on completion
Note: You'll find Declan's review at Stage 7 (of 12) below

"This programme has been excellent. At the beginning of the process I was very distressed, and frankly didn't know where to turn. I am so grateful that I found the programme and for Debbie's efforts in putting it together. Provided you are prepared to engage in the process, and commit to exercises from week 1, you will see the benefits. The one-to-one appointments were invaluable and very relaxed. Debbie's experience speaks for itself, and I therefore felt I was in safe hands from day 1. I am now in a much better place, and certainly not distressed. Well worth it and highly recommended."

Q: Do you recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme?
A: "I fully recommend the programme, as it really does work. Not only in reducing tinnitus distress, but in reducing general day to day stress/anxiety."

Review written at Stage 7 (of 12) 9 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 66.0% > 9.2% at Stage 6 of 12

"The relaxation element of the course has helped me immensely with managing my ear issues. There is a mix of short exercises which you should sprinkle throughout your day, and longer exercises (guided relaxation) which can be used to properly wind-down at the end of the day, or when things are particularly challenging. I have also found that the relaxation exercises have helped me in a much broader sense, beyond just my ear issues. I have been able to deploy them in relation to work stresses and other day to day challenges. I had some limited experience of guided meditations but the new tools presented have been much more varied and effective for me.

I have become much more aware of my unhelpful/negative thought habits, and how these are more responsible for negative feelings than the physical ear issues (or anything else). By understanding these habits, I can start to challenge them - the Meaning Adjuster has been very good for this. I have a much better understanding of the ear conditions themselves, and much more confidence that they can be overcome. The content is carefully prepared and as someone who has had anxiety issues in the past, I have found it to be paced really well and not overwhelming."

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "Before starting this course, I had convinced myself that there was nothing that could improve the way I was feeling about the tinnitus. I was so wrong. In the first 8 weeks this course has made such a positive difference and continues to do so. It does require a commitment to use the exercises [they are easy to do] and spend time reflecting on the content, but it is so worth it. The one to one session with Debbie was extremely insightful and supportive. I fully recommend the course."
David, UK
One year after completion
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 65.6% > 14.0% one year after completion

"For the past year I have found that my anxiety levels due to my tinnitus have reduced significantly, to the extent that for the most part I have been able to go for days or even weeks without giving my tinnitus a second thought. And even at the times when I do become aware of my tinnitus I find that I can still remain largely calm, the most important difference for me is that I now know I have the tools to control any feelings of anxiety. I actually decided not to end the course suddenly on completion of the course materials but preferred to continue, though gradually using the course materials less and less as time progressed until I stopped using them altogether, I felt that this facilitated a seemless transition from being an anxious sufferer of tinnitus to restoring a state of calmness and habituation. I do however refer to the course briefly at times when I feel it would be helpful, though this has been infrequent."
Amanda, France
Completed
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 56.0% > 2.4% on completion

"The CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme has been of great value to me. I think it was pitched just right for me. I was in an anxious, dark place in February when I discovered the course. I was not sure how I was going to live the rest of my life with tinnitus. The course has made a massive difference. I really do not know where I would have been now without it. Tinnitus has not bothered me for several months. Following long Covid which caused me to suffer with dizziness and therefore anxiety I delayed completing the final measures as Covid would have influenced my answers. France does not really acknowledge long covid and this resulted in me having a brain scan and all sorts of tests which caused me anxiety. I was able to use what I have learnt in your course to help me climb down and relax from the anxiety caused by long Covid."
Lilian, UK
Review written 18 weeks after completing the 12 modules (in 13 weeks) - 31 weeks after enrolment
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 66.8% > 22.8% on completion

"I heard about this course via The British Tinnitus Association, at the time I was suffering greatly with anxiety and depression due to tinnitus. I must admit this course gave me that lift up that I needed to get things back under control and to feel that I could move forward again. I would certainly recommend it to anyone with distressing tinnitus."

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "Yes I would definitely recommend this course to anyone with Tinnitus, the education and relaxation advice is brilliant."
Hayden, UK
Review written on completion of 12 module process (16 weeks after enrolment)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 64.8% > 20.8% on completion

"Like many others, when I initially signed up for the course, I had spent hours and hours surfing the internet for help. Tinnitus was a relatively new experience for me (Dec 20, just before Christmas). I was in a bad place, panic, anxious, nervous and just really not in a good place. I found the first few weeks, say the first 4 weeks of the course, really calmed me down and get into a better place, once I began to understand how everything was working and I could quickly put two and two together and figure things out. Although I could still hear my tinnitus, I was in a much better place and learning how to cope with it. Debbie, obviously my first initial meeting with her, she knew I was struggling, and I had struggled with health anxiety in the past too, and she knew where my head was straight away. I have still have tinnitus, and it probably won't go away, I have good days and "loud" days, and days where certain things trigger the loudness, for me, various things like red wine / alcohol, sugary sweets and some forms of fitness can spike my loudness and symptoms i.e. running high tempo and cycling etc. But it's now about acceptance and coping, I have tools in my locker now if i am having bad days! Thanks again Debbie, wonderful person and fantastic course :)"

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "Yes, 100%, I don't want to say why, just sign up for the course and make your own judgement! - Put the work in and you won't be disappointed."
Vina, UK
Review written at Module 7 stage of 12 modules (7 weeks after enrolment)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 69.6% > 38.0% at Stage 6 of 12

"I have past experience of meditation, but was struggling to get back on track since the tinnitus had taken over my life, 18 months ago. My anxiety and stress levels were off the scale. The programme is well designed and provides very good insights into tinnitus. I really like the pace of the programme, along with the practical exercises. I had completely immersed myself into the programme and the benefits I started to see were amazing. I used the exercises as a way to take a break from work and I could see my anxiety levels dropped significantly. I found that I started to enjoy other activities a lot more. Definitely a big step change towards positivity. After 7 weeks on the course my TFI Category 4>3. My THI dropped from Cat 5 > Cat 2.

Doing the daily log was very useful, it kept me on track for doing the daily exercises. I have a better understanding of tinnitus and the technical information is available which I can go back and revisit at a later date. Sometimes things make more sense when reviewed again. I could set the pace of the course, where I felt I needed extra time to grasp sometimes. I didn't feel the pressure to move on to next module until I felt comfortable and ready. At times I enjoyed some sections so much that it was harder to move to the next one, but again started to enjoy the next module exercises. I found the course content not only helps with my Tinnitus but it had a positive affect on my overall well being."

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "Yes, I would highly recommend this course to someone with severe tinnitus distress. My tinnitus started suddenly following an accident 18 months prior to starting the programme. I suffered extreme distress with constant raging ringing in one ear. I was also under tinnitus rehab clinic and wish I had taken the steps to do the course earlier. My clinic recommended this course as they could see how much distress the tinnitus was causing me on daily basis. After 3 months of dwelling I finally took the plunge to complete the questionnaires and it was an eye opener. I am now halfway through my course and it is life changing. Tinnitus is not the end, it no longer has any significance in my life."
Georgina, UK
Review on completion of the 12 Module process (16 weeks after enrolment)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 70.4% > 38.8% on completion

"This is the best resource I've found for helping to manage my tinnitus. As a servere case, I made a full commitment to embracing the 12 week programme and felt the benefits early on - particularly from the breathing exercise and guided relaxation. Finding time also to study the supplied information about the neuroscience behind tinnitus also helps."

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "I do recommend this programme. Debbie Featherstone is a commendable and empathetic specialist (she also has tinnitus so really understands) and is a huge support."

Georgina's earlier review at Module 7 stage of 12 modules (7 weeks after enrolment)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 70.4% > 52.4% at Stage 6 of 12

"The breathing exercises have had a very positive impact - and quickly. I would never have imagined that breathing properly could beneficially alter both mental and physical performance within just a couple of days. My shoulders and neck resumed a normal position and stopped aching. And it made me realise how much I had been holding my breath. The guided relaxation is also good in that it gives you permission to take your foot of the pedal for 30 minutes a day. Not always easy but worth it. I am not completely new to using relaxation but have never done it in a prescribed way like this.

Explanations of neurological pathways and how these can be changed to help manage tinnitus have given substance to my understanding and acceptance of the programme. Submitting daily logs and knowing Debbie Featherstone is keeping a watchful eye, is very supportive too. It feels like teamwork and in all walks of life, this is always effective for me. Most importantly, she knows what she's doing - a committed and knowledgeable specialist building confidence."

Q: Would you recommend others with tinnitus distress to use this course?
A: "Yes. I would say that we are all told there is no cure for tinnitus - so try anything and everything and see what helps you. One off massages, anti-depressants, acupuncture, background music etc, etc.... hasn't worked for me. So, if you want an intelligent and effective way to manage your tinnitus holistically, look no further. This course gives explanations to make sense of it all and that is the key."
Laina, UK
Course Completed
(Review 24 weeks after enrolment: TFI Category 4 > 1)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 60.8% > 9.2% on completion

Doing this course has been one of the best things I have ever done! Before starting it, I wasn’t in a good place at all. I had always been quite an anxious person with poor self esteem. I had suffered from bouts of insomnia but day to day, I just kept burying those feelings and the negative thoughts I had too.

In May 2020, in the middle of the COVID lockdown, I developed tinnitus. All my anxieties, worries and doubts spiralled out of control. I didn’t know how I was going to cope. 6 weeks of talking therapy helped but didn’t go deep enough. Then I discovered this CBT course. Right from the first email I sent, Debbie was there with understanding and expertise. The first few months of relaxation was welcome but I wasn’t able to work at that stage and the insomnia and anxiety was pretty bad.

The relaxation strategies really helped though, to help me to calm down especially during or after panic attacks. Debbie was there with support and tips and probing questions which made me start to dig a bit deeper. Being able to log each relaxation exercise, respond to material in each module and to email Debbie if you needed support was amazing. Other online courses don’t have anywhere near the impact due to the lack of individual support. Things began to improve ever so slowly. It was when we started using the cognitive elements of the course that I really begin to see that this course could make a difference though.

Each module had enough material to get you thinking and to reflect about your long held and stubborn thoughts. I realised that my feelings could be adjusted, that I didn’t have to believe them or the negative narrative that I had been telling myself for nearly all my life. I gradually learned how to recognise, explore and then adjust my feelings and thoughts. The Meaning Adjuster tool is great for that and again, Debbie was just there, reading your adjustments and offering support where you needed it.

From that point onwards, I began to have pretty major breakthroughs. It was pretty tough going at times and I would have relapses that would terrify me. Gradually though, I began to believe that this course would work for me, like it works for everyone who is willing or able to commit to it and persevere. I had great support around me at home and Debbie’s invaluable support too.

By the time I did my end of course reassessments [week 17 after enrolment], my TFI score had gone from a category 4 to a 1! The tinnitus was insignificant. My THI score plummeted from category 4 to 1 and my BAI had reduced from close to severe down to mild anxiety. I was over the moon! The course takes commitment and involves lots of reflection and perseverance. I used all of the strategies consistently. I still use them now as I am still on the journey but in an indescribably different place to 9 months ago. Debbie is incredibly dedicated and supportive. Her ethos is to assist your own journey of self discovery but with expert support when it’s needed.

I am so glad that I did this course. After trying to ignore it all for so long, I found my negative core inner belief and I have continued to adjust and challenge it daily. I make sure I take time to look after myself so much more now and I remember what Debbie said, I can manage my thoughts and feelings. Why wouldn’t I be able to? I still have wobbles and some of the really stubborn thoughts are there but they’re getting smaller. I challenge each one of them and I take time to experience and take note of the positives in my life. My belief in myself has grown so much. That is why the tinnitus is insignificant now. I know that I can manage my feelings and if I do have a relapse, I know that by doing the course and continuing to use the strategies, I can get myself back on track. I did it when I was at my lowest and I can do it again and again and again when needed. I have been back in work for two months now and I am feeling so much better. The course was really great and I would most definitely recommended it. Don’t hesitate!

Q: Would you recommend the course to others?
A: Yes. This course has been a major turning points in myself enabling me to address long standing negative thoughts and feelings. It has allowed me to discover greater belief in my ability to cope and manage with difficult situations.
Tracey, UK
(7 weeks after enrolment: TFI Category 4 > 3)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 64.0% > 32.4% at Stage 6 of 12

"I have tried other relaxation before but didn’t really know what I was doing, I dived in with exercises that were too demanding and ended up getting more stressed. The relaxation exercises in the course were pitched just right for me. I’ve found them of benefit in my feeling I have some control over how I might be physically feeling and feel that they have positively impacted on my sleep. The relaxation logs are quick and easy to access and complete.

The educational element and being able to understand more about the condition has been really useful and really fascinating. Having the zoom 1-1 near the beginning was very helpful in that you feel you are supported right from the start. The ability to keep in touch or ask questions through email is fantastic and has set me back on the right track when i felt I needed help.

I find the pace appropriate and the module content to be about right for me. I liked having the information about tinnitus and how our brain works at the beginning. I liked how the emphasis on calming the system paved the way for the challenging of thoughts."

Q: Would you recommend others with severe tinnitus distress to use the course?
A: "Yes I would recommend others with severe tinnitus distress to use the course. I would say that I feel very lucky to have found the course, because that in-depth level of support, knowledge and understanding of tinnitus is sometimes so hard to find and to access, but here it is."
David, UK
(7 weeks after enrolment: TFI Category 4 > 2)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 65.6% > 38.0% at Stage 6 of 12

"I was already a user of relaxation techniques, but I found it beneficial to have a more structured routine. I believe the relaxation has and is helping though on some days when anxiety levels are high it can be difficult to find a achieve a state of relaxation.

I found the active advice on how to avoid the second arrow to be very interesting. I watched all of the short videos in this section and thought it was very helpful, particularly when they explained how to avoid greater emotional responses by being more accepting of my tinnitus. I have for the most part worked through the course at my own pace, and have not felt either as though I am falling behind or being rushed."

Q: Would you recommend others with severe tinnitus distress to use the course?
A: Yes I would, I am currently not in the same more peaceful place that I was in a few weeks ago [tinnitus onset very recent], but I did realise at that time that my emotional responses and my tinnitus could be separated, providing a degree of relief, and that is what I would suggest to others.

Keith, UK
(7 weeks after enrolment: TFI Category 4 > 2)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 64.4% > 24.8% at Stage 6 of 12

"Relaxation has been very helpful in "putting aside" my tinnitus even for a relatively short time. This has been my first experience of relaxation exercise and the more you do it , the more useful it becomes. Good for self discipline. The voice on Relaxation 3 [module 6] is not as clear as on 1 and 2 [modules 2 and 4]- maybe because I wear hearing aids.

Understanding Cognitive distortions has enabled me to put things in perspective. I use the notion of STOP regularly and I am signed up to the notion of belief and LIE. The factual content of the course has given me a much clearer understanding of what is going on with my tinnitus. Its comforting to know that what I experience is far from unique! There is much food for thought in the course e.g the distinction between the mind and the brain!

Pace is fine - it is quite a commitment every day so more content would be a problem. Some modules lead to greater, quicker progress than others but this is acceptable. Where an issue arose for me over an element of one module Debbie was swift to offer advice and guidance - very helpful and reassuring. It is good to revisit parts of the course from time to time - as the course progresses so things from previous modules fall more and more into place. Occasionally the "technical" information is daunting but I do not have to remember it all!!!!"

Q: Would you recommend others with severe tinnitus distress to use the course?
A: "Yes I would recommend it - I would say that they should try it - you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain if you stick with it. I am pleased with my progress to date and am handling my tinnitus much better than before I started. Of course some days are better than others but overall I feel much better about the future!"

Michael, UK
(7 weeks after enrolment: TFI Category 4 > =)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 66.0% > 55.6% at Stage 6 of 12

"The relaxation exercises have been massively beneficial to me, especially in the early stages when my stress levels were at boiling point. I've learnt that they need to be done routinely and even when feeling ok because its the cumulative effect of doing them that helps with any future challenges you have. It has opened my eyes to what's possible in relation to wellbeing and in particular the meditations have been massively beneficial to me.

The information about what Tinnitus is really helped to calm me in the early days of the course and I found almost instant relief when I learnt Tinnitus isn't something to fear. All of the content has been well thought through I would say and I think its massively important to truly understand the content before moving on to the next stage.

The course content is just right I think. I have felt at times the content could have come quicker but in all honesty i am not sure some of the key messages would have landed and i probably just would have raced ahead. So as it stands i would say its just right but maybe labour the point that this is deliberate and intended to let messages digest and things take thier natural course."

Q: Would you recommend others with severe tinnitus distress to use the course?
A: Yes I would and have. It offers you the best opportunity to improve your Tinnitus and rather than searching for miracle cures and trying lots of different things it gives you a strategy that in time will help you.

(16 weeks after enrolment: TFI Category 4 > 3)
Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) reduced from 66.0% > 43.2% on completion

"When I started the course I was really struggling with my Tinnitus and as I started working through the course I could feel myself getting better and better. I am in a much healthier place having completed the course and continue to use the content and exercises when things get on top of me."

Q: Do you recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme?
A: Yes CBT with someone who has so much experience with Tinnitus is the best way to learn to adapt to Tinnitus
CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme © 2009-2024

CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme Ltd
Company Number: 15206830
Company Director: Debbie Featherstone


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