Reverse Therapy

Bodymind healing and awareness

Another video interview

Here’s another video interview with one of our ex-clients, who recovered from a serious illness with Reverse Therapy.

Click here to watch.

September 5, 2007 Posted by | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E., Reverse Therapy | Leave a comment

Why Cognitive Behavior Therapy doesn’t work

Many people with M.E. will know that they are continually being pushed towards Cognitive Behavior Therapy as the treatment. You may even have been told: ‘nothing else works’ or ‘this is the only thing that has any scientific evidence going for it’.

Er…well, the problem is that there is no real scientific evidence that CBT works for anything. There have been about three worthwhile studies on CBT for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome published in the UK and only one of those produced any evidence at all that CBT could be effective in reducing symptoms. Yet even that one study compared CBT with relaxation techniques which (as anyone with CFS will tell you) are practically useless. I wonder how CBT will look when it finally goes head to head with a really effective contender like Reverse Therapy?

Cognitive Therapy, as I never tire of reminding people, was developed to treat Depression. Since M.E. is not depression why should anyone assume that it will work for that condition? Cognitive Therapy works on changing peoples’ thoughts, beliefs and expectations. But since Chronic Fatigue symptoms are not created in the head there is no reason to believe the belief that changing beliefs will make any difference.

In fact, about twenty years ago it was realized that changing thoughts doesn’t make much difference to Depression either. Or Anxiety. Or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or anything else. That was why Cognitive Therapy was merged with Behavior Therapy – because it began to dawn on one or two minds that getting someone to change their thoughts about their problems isn’t going to make any difference until they do something about them. The truth of the matter is that it is probably the ‘B’ part of the process that is effective for a few people, not the ‘C’ part.

Unfortunately for the moguls that run the National Health Service there is no evidence that CBT is effective for anything else either. In one recent study in Scotland over 1000 patients who had received CBT years before were followed up. Of the 489 who could be bothered to talk about the therapy (were the rest too ill to come to the phone?) over half of them were still unwell and 30% of them still had severe symptoms. That means – in plain terms – that less than 10% of the original number were reporting any benefit at all. If you were a taxi-driver and only managed to get 1 out of 10 passengers to their destination you’d soon be out of business. Yet the current Government wants to spend £600 million pushing CBT on the rest of us. With the absurd claim that it has all been scientifically proven.

So why is Cognitive-Behavior Therapy the number one most used therapy in the UK and the United States? Well, folks, the main reason is that it is promoted by the Psychology industry, which is now well-embedded in the universities, the health services, in business, government and the press. And because it fits in with what the powers-that-be think people should be like: rational, reasonable, normal workers who can control their thoughts, act sensibly and not get over-emotional. In that sense what someone who goes in for CBT is really getting is an indoctrination in mainstream psychology. Don’t forget, nearly all the research that has so far been carried out on CBT has been organized by – you’ve guessed it – other psychologists. This is one reason why most of the research is unbelievably biased.

Here are a few reasons why Cognitive-Behavior Therapy won’t work for M.E.

  1. No evidence exists that CBT can eliminate symptoms, only that it can reduce them.

  2. CBT has a high initial drop out rate. Over 20% of people with M.E. do not go back after their first session.

  3. M.E. symptoms are not created by thoughts so changing thoughts won’t make any difference.

  4. Sufferers who have headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, IBS, sleeping problems, etc feel insulted by the suggestion that they can get better through positive thinking. Another reason they are unlikely to go back.

  5. Forms. CBT makes people fill out endless forms, questionnaires and journals. Doing which not only creates frustration but triggers brain fog too

  6. Since symptoms are created in the brain, glands and nervous system only an approach – like Reverse Therapy – that recognizes and works with Bodymind has any chance of reversing the condition.

  7. This in turn means recognizing that the symptoms are created because the organism – the body – is in crisis. And that we have to address the organic cause, rather than the negative beliefs that people have developed after becoming ill.

  8. When CBT does help in reducing symptoms it is not because CBT is effective but because it is accidentally – and without realizing what is happening – encouraging the client to try new activities that reduce Bodymind’s need to create symptoms as a warning call. But Reverse Therapy does that anyway.

 

 

June 11, 2007 Posted by | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, M.E., Reverse Therapy, Therapy | Leave a comment

10 things to stop doing if you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

1. Stop looking for ‘cures’. The more you look for cures which fail the more focused you will be on your illness. The solution for Chronic Fatigue syndrome is right here on the Reverse Therapy website and it contains all the information you will ever need on how to be well.

2. Stop pacing. There is no evidence that pacing works. The reason it seems to work is because people are changing activities, not reducing them. Bodymind likes change so it turns down the symptoms when more variety is introduced. That’s especially true if what you were doing before was a chore.

3. Stop talking about symptoms. The more you talk about the symptoms the more trapped you will get in the illness loop. Bodymind wants you to talk about getting well, not staying ill!

4. Stop using M.E. Chat Forums and M.E. Support Groups. All you will ever meet are other people who are focused on illness. What’s more, some users are so trapped in suffering that they create negative energy which gets passed on to you. If you have made friends in a forum or a group then meet them elsewhere.

5. Stop withdrawing from people close to you. Your Body doesn’t create symptoms because it wants you to give up your life. It uses them to signal that its time to create a better way of life. And that includes spending more time with your friends and those you love.

6. Stop listening to medical doctors. With some exceptions (such as the wonderful medics we have on the Reverse Therapy team!) most medical doctors do not understand M.E. Either they don’t believe it exists or – if they do treat it as a real illness – they don’t know what to do about it. Either way you will just get frustrated.

7. Stop thinking ‘I will never get well’ and, instead, focus on what you need to do to in order to become just that. If you don’t know what to do then try doing anything that raises endorphins if you notice symptoms on the increase.

8. Stop waiting for the symptoms to go. Many of our clients have fallen into the trap of thinking ‘once these horrible symptoms go I can get my life back’. In fact the reverse is true: once you go back to an emotionally rewarding life, Bodymind can switch off the symptoms.

9. Stop living in the past, dwelling on all the times you have been miserable, ill and depressed. Instead, learn to live in the moment, being directed by what your personal Bodymind wants you to do right now.

10. Stop worrying about the future. The future is simply something people imagine. You can learn to imagine a future in which you are healthy and living the life you want. But better still, you can be guided by your symptoms and start creating your future in this very moment.

May 4, 2007 Posted by | Anxiety, Bodymind, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Headmind, Health, M.E., Reverse Therapy | Leave a comment

Video Interview with John Eaton – Part 2

Part 2 of the video interview with John Eaton recorded by Chris Jefferson-Jones, introducing Reverse Therapy.

March 22, 2007 Posted by | Bodymind, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Health, Reverse Therapy | Leave a comment

Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

At my request, John Aitken is guesting today. He is a former counsellor who recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and has now retrained as a Reverse Therapist. I think John’s words speak for themselves so I don’t need to add any more.

John writes:

My belief that I must succeed drove me to illness; and my insistence that I must be self-sufficient at all costs kept me there. My activities became extremely narrow. I was purely focused on training to be a Mental Health Nurse. The more tired I became the more I concentrated on this – reinforcing the problem. In fact one day I remember an old school friend asking me what I did to have fun. I was speechless. I didn’t have any fun.

I slowly became more and more exhausted.

I made an appointment with my GP, who arranged for blood tests and a depression study. These were clear and he diagnosed me (by exclusion) with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. I was devastated. I had previously made a joke that I was going to start an M.E. support group, but I couldn’t be arsed – that back-fired. At first I couldn’t get out of bed. It was like having a devastating hangover and the flu at the same time. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I had always been so active. How long was this going to last for? Would I have to consider being incapacitated for the long term? I looked on Google for more information and was completely overwhelmed – and my symptoms increased. Shit!! I had all the common CFS symptoms and couldn’t believe this was happening to me – I had always been a high achiever

All my dialogue was internal: “I have got to make the best of it” “How come other selfish people get away with it without getting ill?”. In fact since doing a person-centred counselling course, I believed that it was my role to do all the listening. I devalued myself and assumed that it was my sole function in life to be supportive of others.

Then I discovered Reverse Therapy and my life turned around.

This process highlighted the importance of paying attention to my emotional needs and my own personal truths rather than all the rules and expectations that I had inherited.

In summary, I was not expressing my emotional needs and was not having enough fun in my life. Reverse Therapy helped with this by showing me how my body reacts and causes symptoms. It taught me how to respect my symptoms as a clear message that something was not right in my life. That I needed to correct something in order to respond to my body’s needs. I now know how to be well.

I now live my life according to my emotional truths and not the learnt psychological rules that I have assimilated from society in general. I am much happier and stimulated by life again. Like everybody else I have bad days but I quickly bounce back and have more fun.

I asserted my need to be listened to sometimes and downgraded my role as a counsellor (taking on other’s issues). Ironically I am now better able to help people with their issues using Reverse Therapy.

March 12, 2007 Posted by | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Reverse Therapy, Therapy | Leave a comment

Video Interview with John Eaton – Part 1

This is Part 1 of a video interview recorded by Chris Jefferson-Jones, introducing Reverse Therapy.

February 19, 2007 Posted by | Bodymind, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Headmind, Health, Reverse Therapy, Therapy | 1 Comment

Helping a client get well

This is an email dialogue I held with a client a little while ago. I have edited some details to preserve anonymity. She has had M.E. for six years and is now improving rapidly.

The aim is to give anyone with M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome some thoughts on how to get well. And, of course, any of our clients out there can learn from this too.

Client: During my second appointment with you last month I had difficulties in saying what I needed which you helped me to overcome by teaching me how to put things into words. I told you I was confused with what you were telling me and that I did not understand. You guided me to establish contact with my Bodymind and I felt relieved. I think there is a strong component of fear inside me. Fear of staying ill, fear of not being able to succeed with Reverse Therapy.

My comment: It is important to distinguish between Headmind worry and Bodymind fear. Bodymind sends you a fear emotion when it notices that you are vulnerable in some way – in order to encourage you to express your need for help and support, and take small steps to raise your confidence in that situation. Your Headmind worries about not being able to get well and not being able to do Reverse Therapy. This is natural but unhelpful. It is important not to give any time to these worries. Instead, do something like this:

Go into your Body

Remind yourself that you know how to be well

Spend a little time in your body deciding what feels good to do next about your messages and go and do that straight away

Client: This is all Headmind stuff, I know, but fear is somewhere stuck deep in my cells. One day, soon after my first RT session I was in a meditation group – and we were guided to recall our most important event over the summer. I “went” to my first session with you while I was in a deep state of contemplation and I felt – very strongly and clearly – how something was “melting down inside” as tears were dropping on my face and this was helping in the process of recovery. I was impressed when this “something” that I was feeling so clearly deep inside me came out as “fear”. That fear I felt at that time when I was recalling the first RT session was deep in my body and the whole process of retrieving that RT session while in a meditative state was helping a lot in letting it go.

My comment: This is good work! You may indeed have become vulnerable and your Body created fear to remind you to be gentle on yourself and take good care. There is no need to let go of fear – just honour it and act on it.

Client: Is this fear – which I’m not generally aware of – a fear that my Bodymind developed when I was under a lot of stress, specially when I had glandular fever and I kept working under stress, without resting? Is this fear misinterpreted by Headmind and leads me to be afraid of not being able to recover?

My comment: See above. But Headmind stuff will be worry rather than fear.

Client: One of my concerns is my need – I guess a Headmind demand to “understand”. Which probably comes from a need to control. So I spend too much time in my Head. Although I am learning that when I am living in the moment, in Bodymind, I feel at peace. But the thing is that I live in a world that is run by Headminds!

My comment: Yes – it is about ‘unlearning’ the Headmind habits and conditioning you received through unbalanced education. Reverse Therapy is a discipline (like meditation) which needs to be practiced everyday until it becomes more natural to stay in the moment and let go of Headmind’s need to explain, worry and control. We have to acknowledge that the world is mostly run by ‘Headminds’ but that doesn’t mean we have to play the game.

Client: Getting onto the more practical aspects of doing Reverse Therapy, I am not keeping the journal up to date. Nor am I planning activities. I have never been good at organizing my time. And having spent 4 years without working has not helped me much in that.

My comment: OK – let’s not make the Journal into a burden for you. It is only used to help you remember the discipline of noticing your symptoms, acting on the messages, and noticing what happens to the symptoms. But if it has become another Headmind chore for you then let’s drop it for now.

Client: I am now trying to do more things I enjoy – like walking with my husband, visiting friends, arranging dinner-parties, shopping, and the like. And I have had fun, and people who knew me before the illness have mentioned to me how much more energy I have. It shows in the way I talk, in how I am with people, and in the joy I have in doing things. Just as an illustration, the other day, over a dinner with a group of friends, I told a joke – a long one! And I realized when I was about to start that it was the first time I had done that for more than 4 years! It went well, they all laughed, and my husband was very happy when he saw that. He likes me telling jokes!

My comment: Very good! Please do more of this as your Body clearly enjoys being with your friends. Interestingly, it has been established that laughter is a sure way to enable Bodymind to release endorphins, which both reduce symptoms and confirm that you are on the right path towards recovery.

Client: Yet a couple of hours before we all met for dinner I had symptoms. My energy level was very low, I was feeling sick and I just wanted to lie down. There was kind of a “fight” inside me and finally I won through the faith I have in you. My Headmind could not get that something other than lying down could help me in that situation. But I trusted RT and I did what I was told to do in these situations. I regained confidence and energy started to come back. The problem was my husband was late getting back from work and we were going to be late for dinner. After getting into Bodymind and reading the message I started to act with serenity and coped with the situation. The dinner went great!

My comment: Excellent! You really let go of that Headmind trap there!

Client: Next day, we had a lunch at home with a friend. I woke up very tired and thinking I could not be able to manage it. I was feeling sick again. Headmind telling me it was because I had done too much the day before (although I didn’t believe it). We normally do things at the last minute and my Body was probably telling me to slow down. After reading my message I calmed down and I decided to take it easy and got on with other things. It was like I was expressing my needs to myself. It worked well. We both enjoyed having lunch with our friend and we had a wonderful time.

My comment. Hmmmm. Might be an idea to get together with your husband and look at some ways for you both to have more time to get ready.

Client: One of the things that concerns me a lot is my sleep. I seem to need to sleep forever. As a student, I always stayed up until late during exams and woke up late in the morning. When I was working, I always tended to stay late to do tasks that required more concentration. What is happening now is that, in the absence of any activity that requires me to be somewhere early, I tend to wake up very late in the morning, which gets me very restful but feeling quite useless.

My comment: I am afraid it does take time for your Body clock to get back to normal. It is important not to stay in bed too long but get on with activities you have planned for that day. Please also ensure that each week has a balance of early nights and late nights. Remember, your Body might be using morning fatigue to warn you that there is not much enjoyment available. Finally, watch out for Headmind and its yada-yada-yada about your being ‘useless’ because you have symptoms.

Client: The other main concern is about my poor skills in planning and organizing. As I told you, I have never been good at that, but now it’s even worse. Over the week I have few fixed activities, but I still struggle to get to them in time. And I have not yet learnt how to fill the gaps in between, unless I improve, which does not take me very far. I simply do not know how to design an activity schedule. I feel quite frustrated and helpless about that, especially now that I realized how important it is for my recovery,

My comment: Can you not get your husband or a friend to help you do this? Otherwise we can work on it together when you next see me.

Client: Something else I wish to tell you is that I have put my hopes in RT and that I trust you. I think you are a very talented person and I feel very thankful to be able to get RT from you. I also get lots of confidence from reading the testimonials of people who have undertaken RT and have recovered. But my Headmind –here it is again – keeps damaging my hopes with doubts. One of them has to do with the apparent simplicity of the method. If RT is so simple then I think that what I have suffered during these years was “only in my mind”. I fought a lot during these years against the doctors who had no idea about this illness and who have even told me that I had nothing wrong with me. And when I asked them why I was feeling so ill they would shrug.

My comment. Your symptoms were certainly not all in your mind! Reverse Therapy is simple (although not always easy) but Headmind always wants it to be more complicated because it demands ‘explanations’ and intellectual control.

Client. Am I fearing recovery? Am I fearing that this is an underlying process that I cannot understand? I trust you, and I just want to be very honest with myself and to you, so I can help you to help me.

My comment. No – this is your Headmind daring not to believe that you can be totally well. Because all it has ever known for the last six years is pain, exhaustion and worry. The more days you have when your energy comes back and your symptoms go, then the easier it will be for Headmind to let go of the idea that you cannot get well.

Client: I feel good that I can share with you my inner concerns, and what I believe is Headmind resistance to the process. It is like if my Head wants to know “the secret of RT”. Also, I think there is some reasoning going on like “if it is so easy to overcome the symptoms that have got me to a completely disabled life, I must be an idiot”.

My comment: This is something many of our clients tell us. We always say to them: ‘It is not your fault that you became ill.’ As for the simplicity of the method, it is only ‘easy’ once someone has shown you the solution. Like one of those psychological puzzles when people can’t ‘see’ the face of the old woman/young girl in the drawing. But once someone shows you it is easy to see it. Surely, the real idiots are the people in the medical and psychological professions who have spent years studying the illness without coming up with any answers?

Client: It is not easy for me to write down what I have just said but I know you are not judging me, so I should not judge myself and I should feel confident in expressing my thoughts, no matter how distorted they might seem, even to me. So, being honest to you, John, it has been because I have faith and confidence in you and in RT that I do the assignments, not because I understand what I am doing. And this brings humility – the realization that the answers come from somewhere that is far beyond my head, and far deeper inside me.

I guess the big Headmind question is: “what makes RT work?” When I should mostly concentrate on: “how do I make sure I follow what has been taught to me so I can recover?” which is undoubtedly much more important to me than any of my “Research Scientist Headmind questions” that interfere with my recovery from CFS. But it is a fact that these questions exist and that I hope that it is not insane to have them, as far as they do not prevent me from practicing the assignments.

My comment. No, it is not ‘insane’ to have them given your training as a scientist. But, as you already recognize, they are irrelevant to your recovery. I always tell people who are interested in the research behind Reverse Therapy that they should concentrate on getting well first and then they can satisfy their curiosity about what makes RT work. But you are right – the most important question is ‘What can I do today that my Body would love?’

Client: One last question. For more than 3 years I have been going to a weekly Qui Gong session. After I started RT I have not gone back, I think it reminded me so much of “being ill”. What’s your opinion on that?

My comment: If your Body enjoyed – and will enjoy again – going to Qui Gong then go. You have to go with the feelings your Body sends you on this. If it doesn’t feel right then don’t do it.

December 9, 2006 Posted by | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Reverse Therapy | Leave a comment

Catching up with the rest of us

Last month the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a ‘real’ illness and should be taken seriously. What took them so long? It is estimated that there are over 1 million diagnosed cases in the USA. Yet that figure probably represents only 20% of the true number. Which would mean over 5 million Americans suffer from the condition.

Surely, everybody, wherever you go, knows someone with the illness, if they don’t have it themselves? I was in my local printers last week ordering some new leaflets. When the Receptionist asked what Reverse Therapy was I told her. She got up, asked me to wait there, and went into the back room, returning with two of her colleagues. One was best friend to a mother with a daughter with CFS, the other one had a lodger with the same complaint. They told me that both of these people were very depressed at the lack of available care and both would be keen to learn more about Reverse Therapy.

It seems that Gpvernment agencies are only slowly catching up with the General Public. Many of us now know that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a serious illness now reaching epidemic proportions.

November 28, 2006 Posted by | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Reverse Therapy | Leave a comment

How to get M.E.

Yesterday I went to talk to the Sixth Form at a private school in Newbury. Three of the girls there had recovered from M.E. with Reverse Therapy and – given the high prevalence of the illness in this age group, the Head of the Sixth form wanted me to speak to the girls about how not to get M.E.

Over a hundred students turned up! I went light on the neurology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (was sure they didn’t want another biology lesson) and concentrated instead on the triggers for the illness and what they could do about handling them.

The pressures on people in the 14-21 age group are enormous and it is no surprise that young people have one of the highest prevalence rates. They are negotiating puberty, changes in relationships at home, adjustment to adulthood, increased responsibilities and the constant, unremitting pressure of GCSEs, A levels, College, University and Careers. It’s no wonder so many struggle.

Being slightly flippant, I explained how to get M.E.:

* Work beyond your limits
* Give up seeing your friends
* Ignore the early warning signs – background fatigue, headaches etc
* Bottle up your emotions
* Never say ‘No’ to anyone
* Give up doing things that raise your endorphin levels
* Tell yourself constantly that you’re a failure if you don’t get A* in every exam

They seemed to find that more amusing than the description of the cure!

November 28, 2006 Posted by | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Reverse Therapy | Leave a comment