THE TINNITUS THERAPY PROCESS
Sometimes, the notion of living comfortably unaware of tinnitus can feel so far removed from your current reality it seems impossible....
How many times have you been told 'just relax!'... 'learn to accept it!'...or
'don't get stressed!'...? Many of my clients have heard this message far more than the one that tells them HOW or WHY
I teach all my clients with tinnitus how to ease distress and how to encourage natural habituation
Habituation and tinnitus management is a process, not an event and there is much you can do to help that process.
Step one is where I share with you the vital, evidence and research based information that is sadly often missing from conventional interventions.
I take time to ensure all my clients understand the mechanisms involved so they are able to pinpoint exactly where to intervene, how to intervene and why their own, personal action can make an extraordinary difference.
Here's what one of my clients has to say about my approach to tinnitus habituation:
"When we first met I had an underlying fear that if I
didn't find a cure then maybe the
tinnitus would get so bad that it might be the end of me....I now have a much better
understanding of tinnitus...and how the brain relates to it - and I am now much better equipped to deal with it. The impact on my life is reduced immensely."
What can you do to relieve tinnitus noise?
Here we move on to decoupling the mechanisms that promote the sound in your awareness and regaining control. Frustratingly, one of the most common things I hear from clients is that whilst medical practitioners tell them to 'relax and avoid stress', they do not explain how to do this - let alone why - and it seems like a glib and impossible platitude.
Please be reassured that there are ways to master these key elements of tinnitus distress.
Hoare’s 2011 systematic review of 'tinnitus treatment efficacy' concluded that we can be ‘confident of [cognitive behavioural therapy’s] benefit for tinnitus intrusiveness’. In
addition, Kirsch’s meta-analysis of 1995 evidenced that CBT can be even more
effective when integrated with hypnosis. In other words, across a variety of issues, ‘for the vast majority of clients cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy is superior to CBT alone’ (Robertson, 2013, p16).
There is a wealth of evidence supporting cognitive behavioural
hypnotherapy for anxiety and depression. Not all people who suffer from tinnitus also suffer from anxiety or depression, but many do and it is
important that both are addressed as a separate issue, as well as in relation to tinnitus.
Life is like crossing a river. If you take a huge step....
the current will knock you off your feet and carry you away.
The way to do it is small steps.... You will get there in the end.
Our main objective is to encourage mechanisms in the brain to work
effectively so that:
- The tinnitus noise no longer underpins your whole life
- It drops from your awareness and you notice it less
Therefore, this approach mainly works indirectly rather than directly with the sound itself.
However, there are times when certain techniques which do work directly on the sound come into their own. They can help you be in control and I believe they are as effective for dissociating from tinnitus noise as the evidence shows they are for dissociating from pain.
In addition, you enhance sleep and prevent 'middle of the night thinking'.
Of course The Tinnitus Therapy is not a cure, but I cannot stress enough how useful my clients find these techniques for improving coping skills and thus promoting the body's natural habituation.