Michelle, UK (Completed TEP Part 1 and continuing with Part 2 CBT for Tinnitus)
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 the CBT course for tinnitus 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.
Stars (out of 5): 5
Reason: There is nothing I can find to fault!
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
Stars (out of 5): 5
Reason: The course and care is fantastic and Debbie has a vast amount of experience. You can change your tinnitus folks!
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.
Stars (out of 5): 5
Reason: This course has really brought about a lifestyle change in me. Debbie I cannot thank you enough, honestly.
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.
Stars (out of 5): 5
Reason: I will be forever grateful for this program
More Feedback & Comments
From users as they progress:
"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!