The SITREP for the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme
If you have just enrolled on the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme, you are about to begin an important few months learning and practising new exercises and routines, as well as making sense of how you make sense of what’s happening in your world.
If you are part way through the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme, please begin to use the weekly SITREP from now onwards. The SITREP is being rolled out to everyone from 16th August 2023.
Why the weekly SITREP?
Were you to be working individually with a therapist, you would be attending for weekly appointments at a clinic, or attending weekly appointments using an online platform such as Zoom. Weekly face to face appointments (in clinic or using a platform such as Zoom) are costly, both in time and financially. The reason I developed the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme to be the comprehensive process that it is, was to make access convenient and affordable. Hence, rather than attending appointments at a clinic with your therapist each week, you are able to work through the exact same process, but without taking several hours out of your day physically going to the clinic on appointment days.
On the face of it, this sounds great! It’s certainly time saving and gives you lots of flexibility. However, like anything else that sounds like it might be too good to be true, there’s probably going to be a catch - a downside of flexibility is that makes it is easy to put off making progress i.e. “I’ll do it tomorrow” but tomorrow never comes; “I’ll do it next week” but next week comes and something else has cropped up.
It can be a challenge to stay accountable when we have nothing or no one to be accountable to other than ourselves. I want you to benefit from the flexibility AND help you keep on track. For this to work for you, reporting in to your therapist is important. Reporting in helps you control your progress by keeping yourself accountable.
Here’s how you stay accountable as you progress through each of the stages:
At stage 1, there are your clinical measures and Impact Statements to complete. You also send in daily Relaxation Logs. At the start of stage 2, you send in Progress Check 1. There are Progress Checks to complete each time you begin a new stage. Stages automatically open week by week, however, you are encouraged to go through the course AT YOUR OWN PACE. Never feel rushed or pushed to start the next stage until you feel ready.
There comes a time - even if you follow the first 3 or 4 stages weekly - that you need to slow down how you go through this process. This isn't anything to do with how much you read of the course content - it is to do with your neuro-physiology. You are developing new neural firing patterns (you learn about these in the course content). New firing patterns first start to appear, then grow in strength the more you use them. They do not all grow at the same rate, and until they have become well established, the old firing patterns haven't gone. This growth and strengthening takes time and practice, and the time is different for each person. So, even if you have been comfortable following the first 4 stages week by week, when you begin stage 5, you are going to need to take AT LEAST one whole week but probably longer (10-14 days in most cases). So, it is particularly at stage 5 and beyond that the stages will continuing to open before you are ready to move on with them.
Each week from the end of your first week, you send in a SITREP. Unlike the relaxation logs, Progress Checks and subsequent tools you’ll be using as you move forward through the stages, your SITREP is an email that you send direct to me each and every week.
SITREP day is FRIDAY - if you want to change your SITREP day to a different day that will be easier for you to keep to, please let me know. Changing your individual SITREP day is not a problem, as long as you inform me.
I expect a SITREP email from you EVERY FRIDAY (or mutually agreed day) EVERY WEEK until such time as we mutually agree different timing. For example, were you to be attending in-clinic appointments, we may agree to meet fortnightly at a suitable and agreed time further on in your progress.
- Use your SITREP as you would were you to be attending an appointment
- It is your report to let me know how you are, and to ask any questions
- Where you have asked questions or raised concerns in your SITREP, I aim to come back to you in a timely manner, as I do for individual emails
- Use it to let me know if you intend to take a break from the programme, or if you are going away on holiday
- Use it for anything you would be reporting were you to be attending an appointment
- Even the week we meet for your 1-1 appointments on Zoom, you can use your SITREP as well
- Use the SITREP until you have completed the whole process, including having sent in your final repeat measures (TFI etc)
Course users I have discussed the SITREP with have all given it a big thumbs up, hence it is being rolled out to everyone from 16th August 2023, wherever they are in the programme. I hope you find it as helpful as they do.
I never chase anyone for relaxation logs, Progress Checks, Costs & Benefits Transactions, Meaning Adjusters etc., because it is important that you don’t feel rushed or pushed. The weekly SITREP is different. It is the equivalent of attending an appointment. When I do not receive a SITREP, it is like a Fail To Attend, except I will email you the following week to remind you should you have missed one. We can all forget sometimes!
There will be only the one reminder email, so when I do not receive a SITREP for two consecutive weeks and a third week passes without a SITREP, I will assume that you do not wish to participate or no longer intend to use the course*.
Send your SITREP to email@example.com and give it the title My SITREP.
I wish you every success!
Debbie Featherstone MSc.
Hearing Therapist & Psychotherapist
CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme
Date: 18th August 2023
Note: *Inactivity counts as attrition (dropping out from the programme). Attrition figures do not affect you - they are part of the Outcomes audits conducted for administrative purposes.