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ME / Chronic Fatigue

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What therapy involves

A course of therapy may be suggested following assessment, and will be based on your personal needs.

Recovery is a really important part of what we hope to offer to people who attend our service, though the term 'recovery' can mean different things to different people.

Often people experience an improvement in their symptoms after attending the service.

For others, recovery is more about being able to fulfil particular goals or to feel less limited by their symptoms.

We will talk to you about your hopes for your sessions and regularly monitor your progress with you. We may also ask you to complete questionnaires to help review your progress.

There is no set number of sessions with the service though as a guideline people tend to attend four to six sessions of specialist physiotherapy or six to 12 sessions of CBT with a Clinical Psychologist.

Sometimes following the conclusion of one therapy it may be recommended that you receive another. We will work collaboratively with you to agree therapy plans and session numbers.

Specialist Physiotherapy

Sessions with a Physiotherapist are very much tailored to the individual. We understand that everyone's personal circumstances and health needs are different.

Information gathered during your assessment will guide an individualised plan and the advice given to you about managing your activity levels and activities of daily living.

Initially we may ask you to complete some activity and sleep diaries. This is helpful in determining what your normal routine is, and how we can help you balance it with rest and activity.

We understand that the thought of undertaking anything more in your daily routine might feel unachievable, but we will always work closely with you to jointly plan changes that feel manageable and helpful.

Strategies covered in physiotherapy sessions may include:

  • activity management, including establishing or stabilising routines
  • education about ME/CFS management approaches
  • sleep advice
  • goal setting
  • gentle stretching
  • walking advice and planning
  • increasing strength, fitness and stamina
  • collaboratively developing and implementing physical activity or exercise plans
  • working towards a valued activity
  • flare-up management
  • practical techniques to help to improve quality of life and function.

Clinical Psychology

Sessions with a Clinical Psychologist typically involve using a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) informed approach to understand the challenges involved with having ME/CFS, and explore ways to manage these and improve overall functioning and wellbeing.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is an individualised therapy approach which aims to support you to work towards changes that feel meaningful for you.

It recognises that the way we think about things (thoughts), feel about things (feelings) and what we do (behaviour) are related to each other and how we feel physically.

Understanding this can help you to create helpful patterns and responses which in turn support improvements in your day-to-day life.

Our CBT sessions often involve themes such as optimising activity levels, understanding more about factors that can impact on ME/CFS, and managing the changes involved with having ME/CFS.

As well as using traditional CBT approaches, we often also draw from other modern CBT based approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and mindfulness.

10 December 2021