Fabulous results for tinnitus clients

fabulous results for tinnitus clients

I have just calculated the final assessment scores for a client of mine who has come to the end of their 6 week therapy sessions for tinnitus and yet again I am seeing some fabulous results (see table below)! These scores never cease to impress upon me how incredible it is to work alongside clients who invest their time, effort and trust into making these kinds of changes.

For many, in the absence of a cure for tinnitus, habituation is the next best thing because the sound becomes so meaningless, it is simply deprioritised in your awareness – like any other background noise. It’s like living next to a railway line and not noticing the sound of it unless you make a special effort to do so,  like this chap here…

fabulous results for tinnitus clients

Now,  most of my clients report having met people who say: “Tinnitus?  Oh yes, I have that – but I just ignore it….I don’t really hear it unless I think about it”…..

Sounds easy, right?  Yet my clients know first hand how incredibly complex this seemingly simple response is and, when they arrive for their first session with me, the notion that they might also  ‘not be bothered’ by the sound seems like a ridiculous impossibility.

Often, it is presumed that those who achieve habituation must just have ‘better’ tinnitus than those who do not – less loud, less high/low pitched, less annoying.  Their tinnitus must just be easier to live with somehow.

However, the evidence shows that “whilst people with ALL types of tinnitus can suffer, equally people with ALL types of tinnitus can be okay” (Baguley et al, 2010).   In other words, no matter what type of tinnitus people have, it is possible to approach it in a way that alleviates that suffering: people with all types of tinnitus have the potential to be okay with the sound.  This, as Baguley et al point out, is a fact with ‘liberating implications’ and I love that my clients liberate their own experience of tinnitus using skills and techniques that I equip them with.

Yes! These very same clients who initially marvelled at the very notion of learning to live with or sleep with or –  heaven forbid! –  enjoy life with tinnitus, have themselves learned how to do so and are putting it into practice to great effect.

Now, this is no magic pill and just 6 weeks of therapy is no time at all and so at this stage I’d expect clients to still be aware of the sound – at least some of the time. Habituation is a process and not an event, after all.  However, the impact of it on their lives is massively reduced: the sound is less of a priority and they are beginning to naturally habituate to it.

fabulous results Imagine!   They leave feeling more in control, sleeping better,  relaxing and enjoying life again, the sound intrudes far less into their lives and their anxiety is under control, if not completely gone.  Like I said before… in the absence of a cure, this surely is the next best thing!

But don’t just  take my word for it.  Respected tinnitus researchers have devised two important client assessment questionnaires for people with tinnitus and I use these to keep track of my clients’ progress.  It’s the measurable improvements that count after all, isn’t it? Here’s the results of two of my most recent clients, including today’s:

 

CLIENT A
MEASUREMENT 24.09.15 Category 19.11.15 Category Percentage improvement
Tinnitus Handicap Inventory

(Newman et al, 1996)

40 Moderate Handicap 4 No Handicap 90% improvement
Tinnitus Functional Index

(Oregon Health and Science University, 2008)

OVERALL SCORE

62 ‘Big problem’ – severe enough to warrant intervention 9.2 ‘Not a Problem’ – little/no need for further intervention 85.1% improvement
Tinnitus Functional Index

SUB-CATEGORIES

Intrusiveness 63 36.6 41.9% improvement
Sense of lack of Control 80 6.6 91.7% improvement
Cognitive Interference 53.3 ZERO 100% improvement
Sleep Disturbance 93.3 20 78.5% improvement
Auditory Interference 40 ZERO 100% improvement
Relaxation 86.6 6.6 92.3% improvement
Quality of Life 22.5 ZERO 100% improvement
Emotional Distress 80 6.6 91.7% improvement
CLIENT B
MEASUREMENT  

03.09.15

 

Category 18.11.15 Category Percentage improvement
Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (Newman et al, 1996) 78 Catastrophic 10 Slight 87% improvement
Tinnitus Functional Index

(Oregon Health and Science University, 2008)

OVERALL SCORE

77.6

 

‘Very Big Problem’ 12.4

 

‘Not a problem’ 84% improvement in tinnitus functional areas overall
Intrusiveness 66 33.3 49.5%

improvement

Sense of lack of Control 100 20 80% improvement
Cognitive Interference 76 10 86.8% improvement
Sleep Disturbance 100 13.3 86.7% improvement
Auditory Interference ZERO ZERO n/a
Relaxation 93 20 78.5% improvement
Quality of Life 82.5 6.66 92% improvement
Emotional Distress 100 ZERO 100% improvement

To put all this into context, Henry et al (Tinnitus Functional Index questionnaire) note that even a score reduced by as little as 13 points is a “meaningful change”.

So, if you have tinnitus please please do not despair.  The answer may not be as impossible as it initially appears and, because working with me ultimately means YOU learn how to make these changes for yourself, the solution is much closer to home than you might imagine too.

Do contact me HERE for an informal chat about how you too can find relief. I’d love to hear from you,

Warmest wishes,

Deborah

 

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