Tinnitus E-Programme

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From Users of the 6 Module CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme
Wendy, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 3 (moderate) > Category 1 (no tinnitus distress)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (THI) Category 3 (moderate problem) > Category 1 (no problem)
  • GAD-7 (anxiety measure) Mild anxiety > Minimal anxiety

Wendy's review: "The Tinnitus E-Programme has made a massive difference to my life! Before I started the course I really thought that I couldn't continue to live with the noise I heard in my ears. I was suffering from depression and anxiety and listened in to the tinnitus 24/7. I really did not think anything could help - especially as the doctors said there was nothing that could be done about tinnitus. I contacted the British Tinnitus Association and they mentioned the Tinnitus E-Programme. I was very sceptical but gave it a try and step by step, I gradually learned that by following the CBT programme and meticulously doing the breathing and relaxation exercises, there were times when I forgot about the tinnitus and became less bothered by it when I heard it. Now it does not bother me at all! I am able to function normally again and have become one of those 90% of people with tinnitus who live a normal life. People who knew how much I was initially suffering cannot believe the change in my attitude. So thank you Debbie for putting together this programme and giving me my life back.

[I would recommend others to use the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme] Absolutely 100%. I was a nervous wreck before I started this programme but now I am no longer aware of the tinnitus 95% of the time and even if I do become aware of a noise in a very quiet environment it no longer scares or bothers me at all."

Gillian, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 3 > Category 1
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 3 > Category 1
  • GAD-7 anxiety measure Mild anxiety > Minimal anxiety

Gillian's review: "I am so glad to have found and completed this programme. When I started the course I was unhappy and stressed. My tinnitus was absorbing me and my sleep was poor. Debbie was fantastic during our 1-2-1 making me feel encouraged and hopeful. I have found the daily breathing exercises calming and the meditations have improved my sleep. Perhaps the best thing for me, was gaining an understanding of tinnitus and how the mind/brain and body work together. Learning how to handle negative thoughts was a big turning point for me. I liked the pace of the course being under my own control - I did not feel pressured by it. I thoroughly recommend this, it has made a world of difference to me. My life is much brighter now. Thank you Debbie."
Jamie, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 3 (Moderate) > Category 1 (no tinnitus distress)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 3 (Moderate problem) > Category 1 (no problem)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Normal level of anxiety

Jamie's Review: "I've had tinnitus for over 4 years and experienced tinnitus distress for much of that time. I'm so glad I found the Tinnitus E-Programme. It taught me how to regulate my bodily reaction to tinnitus and begin to come out of the cycle of reactivity and fear. I also learnt to identify and address negative thoughts related to my tinnitus. It was reassuring to know that Debbie was keeping an eye on my progress and was always there to provide advice and encouragement. My tinnitus makes me feel less anxious now and I am much better able to deal with the times when it still bothers me. I'm confident that my relationship with tinnitus will only continue to get better as I keep practising what I've learnt. This course has definitely made a big improvement to my quality of life. Even if you're someone who has been distressed by tinnitus for many years, this course can definitely help you. Thank you Debbie! I practice what I learnt from the course every day and feel so much better about my tinnitus."
Susan, Sweden
Clinical Outcomes to date - Susan has transferred to the 12 Module course to access the additional CBT tools needed to progress further
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 4 (big problem) > Category 2 (small problem)
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 4 (severe) > Category 3 (moderate tinnitus distress)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Mild-moderate anxiety > Mild-moderate anxiety

Susan's Review: "When I started the e-Programme I had suffered from constant tinnitus for over 1 year. I was sleeping poorly, angry and irritated about tinnitus all the time and emotionally exhausted by the tinnitus and the repeated message that 'there is nothing that can be done' that I was receiving from medical care consultation. I put focus and work into using the E-Programme for this half year and now I am on a more maintenance level of efforts. I have less emotional entanglement with tinnitus. I have learned many tools to use immediately when I start to feel overwhelmed or 'attacked' by tinnitus. The very practical exercises are very useful. I completely appreciated that it is an on-line programme otherwise I could not have participated from here in Sweden I am very thankful for that as I have found no similar programme on-site or on-line here in Sweden. The explanations of how tinnitus works physically, cognitively, psychologically were a great help to understand what I was dealing with in my body. To become more aware of the parasympathetic nervous system helped me realize I could ascertain some control of this situation, tinnitus was not the unconquerable victor. The program helped me see it was worth making efforts and retaking my agency in the situation as I could impact how I was living with tinnitus. This was easier to embody this idea with the on-line responsive program and always timely support and answer from Debbie vs. doing exercises on my own from a book which is what I had been doing before starting the e-Programme.

I would and already have recommended the E-Programme to others because it is easy to weave the programme into daily life, it has quality information and expertise in the content of the modules, it is approachable and doable even while having tinnitus and being tired, sad, hard to concentrate, there is a positive tone: you can do this."
Alan, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 4 (severe) > Category 1 (no tinnitus distress)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 4 (big problem) > Category 1 (no problem)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Mild-moderate anxiety > Normal level of anxiety

Alan's Review: "At the beginning of the programme I was in a bit of a state and was taking prescribed medication for depression and to help me sleep. I now do not take any medication and I am back to my normal self and sleeping normally every night. My tinnitus does not bother me at all at any time during the day or evening. I also use some of the techniques I learnt to help me in other parts of my life when I have a worry or concern, especially not predicting the future, using evidence based logic in place of emotional thoughts etc etc. During the programme the support you receive is excellent and Debbie is always available when you need help.

The course has completely removed any anxiety and stress associated with my tinnitus and I am now back to my normal self. Debbie is excellent at explaining and supporting you during the course. My advice is fully engage with the programme especially the breathing and relaxation exercises and don't be impatient during the first few weeks as I found that the real benefits are only realised towards the end of the programme The course is also excellent value for money especially when compared to other private therapy."
Peter, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 4 (severe) > Category 1 (no tinnitus distress)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 4 (big problem) > Category 1 (no problem)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Mild-moderate anxiety > Normal level of anxiety

Peter's review: "Before I began a series of sessions with Debbie I was at my wits end with Tinnitus. The noise was invading and overwhelming every hour of every day and every night: I could think of nothing else. I was angry at myself for causing it, I was worried that I would be swamped by it for the rest of my life and I was feeling mentally very low as a result. After a few weeks of working with Debbie I improved noticeably and I could start to function more normally once again.  Now, some 10 weeks after my first consultation with Debbie, I have managed to mentally adjust to the sound of tinnitus and can go for hours or sometimes days, without noticing it.  And when I do notice it I acknowledge its presence but no longer despair over it. I thank Debbie hugely for giving me the life-long CBT skills for learning to cope and live with tinnitus."
Neil, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 5 (severe+) > Category 2 (mild)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 5 (very big problem) > Category 2 (small problem)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Mild-moderate anxiety > Normal level of anxiety

Neil's mid-course review: "For the past couple of years I've wanted to do CBT as I've tried various other things. I'd heard a lot about it and often wondered what it was all about. It's made a difference in a number of ways...
  • Before I started CBT I couldn't sit still and do nothing. With the help of the breathing exercises, I feel I now can
  • I now know what CBT is and how to apply it and it wasn't as hard as I'd thought it would be
  • Doing the CBT has helped slow me down and reflect that I can carry on if I make certain changes in life

Spreading the course over several weeks has been good, allowing me to concentrate on the guided relaxation. Before the Tinnitus E-Programme, I'd been taking a daily bath for 6 months and took them during the difficult transition from late afternoon to early evening when the T becomes most bothersome. After a few months I was starting to fear even the bath as it was marking the start of the difficult evening. Now with the breathing and especially the guided relaxation, I now look forward to the bath and truly feel its one of the best parts of the day. Before the CBT bath time was something I was starting to dread. Not any more :) "

Michelle, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 5 (severe+) > Category 2 (mild)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 5 (very big problem) > Category 2 (small problem)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Moderate-severe anxiety > Normal level of anxiety
Michelle's mid-term review: "I have found the TEP and the support I have received from Debbie invaluable and can’t recommend it enough. I began the course at the end of January 2019 after getting tinnitus in July 2018. When I began the TEP I was in a state of extreme distress - the tinnitus was impacting on every aspect of my life and I was very anxious and depressed. My baseline score on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory was 82 which fell into the catastrophic category. 8 weeks later and things have changed a lot! My score has now fallen to 56 which still places me in the moderate category but I feel so much better! The tinnitus still bothers me and I have good days and bad days but I now have strategies that I use to cope (the breathing and relaxation exercises have been hugely beneficial) and I’m much more engaged in my “old” pre tinnitus life - back in work, socialising, enjoying things again. I know I still have a way to go and so have just started additional CBT with Debbie and I’m sure this will reduce my tinnitus distress even further.

The course is very easy to use, explains the mechanisms of tinnitus and how our thoughts and reactions perpetuate the distress tinnitus can cause. Debbie has given me so much advice and support - she is so swift to reply and has helped me through some times where I felt overwhelmed by my tinnitus, I can’t recommend or thank her enough! Prior to completing the course I had tried TRT but found I wasn’t getting anywhere with this. The TEP helped me immediately."

Dean, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 5 (severe+) > Category 2 (low-mild)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 5 (very big problem) > Category 2 (low-mild)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Mild-moderate anxiety > Normal level of anxiety

Dean's review: "Lets roll back to last December when I felt I had lost my life and that I was no longer me. The onset of my tinnitus was very traumatic and forced me to stop working, I was in a very dark place. By chance some one directed me in the direction of Debbie where I initially began the online Tinnitus E Programme in March of this year. My tinnitus was very severe and with very little respite and I was extremely depressed so opted to begin CBT with Debbie. I was very dubious but remained open minded. During my one to one skype sessions with Debbie, I began to question my feelings and thoughts with the guidance and care of Debbie. Through recording my thoughts and my reactions to my tinnitus, over the following months I began to notice a change in the severity of my tinnitus. Having quit working I was then able to begin work again May 2018 as I was emotionally ready and started to have good tinnitus days. During the past few months Debbie has provided an excellent understanding of how the brain works and the true meaning of tinnitus along with the role my sub conscious and conscious thoughts play.

Lets forward to Dec 2018, a year after my year of hell and desperation..... my tinnitus has not gone but the improvement in my life is very significant. I have many periods where I am not bothered by my tinnitus as it is at a very low level and sometimes gone! I still have bad days however the tools I have been given by Debbie and through my own new beliefs I have changed the way I react to my tinnitus which helps me be in control of the many sounds I hear. My life is getting better and better and I religiously do my breathing exercises throughout my day to help my mind and body remain calm. Debbie has given me the tools to heal and has literally saved my life. As I said at the start I did have very intrusive tinnitus with my sounds in both ears and head but now I have days when I have much peace and this is because of Debbie! Thank you xx

The course and care is fantastic and Debbie has a vast amount of experience. You can change your tinnitus folks!"

Isobel, UK
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 5 (severe+) > Category 2 (low-mild)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 5 (very big problem) > Category 1 (no problem)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Mild-moderate anxiety > Normal level of anxiety

Isobel's review: "Prior to beginning the TEP programme I was an emotional mess. I had lived with slight to mild tinnitus for 7 years but it was a recent case of prolonged untreated anxiety that caused my Tinnitus to get worse and for me to seek help. Having spent weeks searching through the internet trying to find help and going to medical professionals, I was at my wits end when I came across the TEP.

The TEP was so great because it really helped me acknowledge that the key to overcoming tinnitus is education and relaxation, if one is willing to invest the time. The modules ask us to think about the negative thoughts we have about tinnitus in a logical manner and recognise that they are motivated by fear rather than facts. Life can return to normal.  On a personal level the TEP helped me recognise while I previously had mild tinnitus, there was still negative feelings attached to it, such as fears about the future, the guilt that I had been so stupid to put myself in a position that caused this and the feeling I was different to other young people my age.

While the modules alone helped with the first task of educating me about tinnitus, it was really the 1:1 sessions with Debbie that made a full and genuine recovery possible. Even with the education, I still had panic moments where I would read something about tinnitus and it would scare me or just times where I needed to talk to someone who understood, but without judgement. I must say it was really lovely to have a conscientious but qualified voice of reason to put you at ease. Through the 1:1 I was able to build on the skills I learned in the modules, so that when the sessions were completed I felt confident in my own ability to keep myself well through using the skills I learned in the sessions.

This course has really brought about a lifestyle change in me. Debbie I cannot thank you enough, honestly."

Kathy, USA
Clinical Outcomes
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) Category 4 (severe) > Category 2 (low-mild)
  • Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Category 4 (big problem) > Category 2 (small problem)
  • Anxiety Inventory (BAI) Mild-moderate anxiety > Normal level of anxiety

Kathy's review: "I had struggled desperately with tinnitus and hyperacusis for several years when I found the Tinnitus e-Programme online. Through the easy-to–follow and understand online program, followed up with one-on-one skype sessions with Debbie Featherstone, I have learned skills and insights that have changed my life for the better. The online program gave me the fundamentals for understanding and coping with tinnitus but it was through the one-on-one sessions that I really saw a dramatic improvement in my quality of life with tinnitus and hyperacusis.  By changing my response to the condition and engaging with it less and less, it started to fade away more and more over time. It was no longer a “monster” that I had no control over.  The skills that Debbie taught me, especially CBT, apply to so many areas of life and they are tools that I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

I will be forever grateful for this program"

More Feedback & Comments

From users of the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme as they progress:

"Still feel the breathing exercises throughout the day are one of the best therapies over the last few months. I intend to carry on with these for as long as needed. They always bring a sense of calming for the next few hours."

"I liked the do's and don'ts, especially the bit about switching your attention between the tinnitus noises and other bodily sensations [Module 5]. I've been doing the switching attention game each day for about a week now, and though it's early days, I'm finding it easier to move away from the T when I need to."

"I have found the breathing exercises helpful in lowering my general day to day anxiety. [After Module 1] I also feel that my sleep is gradually improving and that my concentration and productivity at work has improved."

"I am particularly impressed with the depth of the recorded relaxation programs. They do exactly what they are intended to do. I am also very satisfied with the responses to my emails I get from Debbie and her depth of skill and knowledge of working with people with tinnitus."

"I have been concerned about long-standing insomnia issues and how they impact on CBT for tinnitus. Debbie gave me reassurance that I was on track with the program and was making incremental progress in line with those who are currently taking and those who have taken the program."

"Now I understand the tinnitus more than ever, how to relax and I’m able to observe my thoughts. After using the breathing exercise and the relaxation (recordings), I feel different - quiet and relaxed"

"I have found the Tinnitus E-Programme to be great! Especially to understand why and how to be more rational about tinnitus, and less stressed about why I have it"

"Debbie explains everything thoroughly and simply. I use the breathing exercises and relaxation everyday"

"This course has done exactly what Debbie told me it would do. My thanks to Debbie - it has been a life-saver being shown that there is a “way out”, a way of dealing with tinnitus, and also dealing with stress in general which is on-going"

"A well thought out course which covered many aspects of the cause of tinnitus and management of it"

"I find the switching between listening to the tinnitus and not listening very helpful"

"Over the past 10 weeks, again I have had a lot of stress with different circumstances. But even so, I amazed to see my (THI) score come down from 46 to 29. I know I will benefit more from working with Debbie using more CBT in Part 2"

"Being able to talk to Debbie about tinnitus and her fully understanding the problems and impact it causes helped me a great deal"

"It helped me to relax more and helped me to get to sleep easier. I don’t feel as isolated and realise other people have the same feelings about having tinnitus"

"I particularly like having the four relaxation recordings to download and keep. Having 4 of them allows a good choice"

"I now have a much better understanding of the problem and realise how to deal with it"

"Has been beneficial and I can now relax a lot easier which therefore helps with getting to sleep which was one major problem for me!"

"Debbie has been most helpful answering queries and giving clear explanations. Her whole manner is relaxing in itself which generates a feeling of well-being. She shows great empathy"

"Last year after my tinnitus had increased due to a virus I felt that I needed some support. I knew Debbie was the person to help. (Having
previously had some therapy with her in 2012). I had several sessions of CBT and can truly say she is the best. Working through the sessions with her helped eliminate the negative thoughts and fears I had and it put tinnitus in perspective for me.  Of course, you have to work through the exercises you’re given as they challenge your thoughts and perceptions, but CBT did work for me, I still have the same tinnitus but it doesn’t bother me the same and I feel stronger for having this therapy.  One important thing is to follow the exercise Debbie gives you for breathing.  Thank-you Debbie"

"I love the way you write and how hopeful I feel after reading these modules. I'm hopeful, uninterested in tinnitus, very still."

"I've been falling asleep in less than 10 minutes. I find that I've become more bored of my tinnitus. I worry for a second 'what if I hear it again?' then I think of something else (automatically not forced) and give it no more thought. It just seems like my brain is finding it harder to focus on the tinnitus sounds."

"I feel a lot less anxious about the future living with tinnitus. I found the course very easy to cope with and enjoyed it!"

"The course was helpful. I feel less anxious now I have a bit more information regarding the way tinnitus works."

Everyone is reporting - "Coursecraft was easy to use."

~ Thanks to all for leaving such useful comments!
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