About the Tinnitus E-Programme
Debbie Featherstone launched the Tinnitus E-Programme on Friday 19th June 2009. The E-Programme is based on and adapted from the TMGC (Tinnitus Management Group Course) that Debbie developed over a number of years and brought with her to East Lancashire in 2001. The course has been undertaken successfully by hundreds of patients every year in her NHS Hearing Therapy practice.
Introducing the Tinnitus E-Programme
by Debbie Featherstone
I have yet to find a more comprehensive on-line facility where people can access evidence-based information about tinnitus than the BTA website, though there are also other excellent information websites that I have included in the Links section of this site
The Tinnitus E-Programme is not an information resource - it is a self-directed, basic course of tinnitus management aimed at reducing tinnitus distress
The Tinnitus E-Programme is not a cure for tinnitus; and neither is it a “quick-fix”. Using the materials week by week over a period of 10 weeks is a means of enabling those who are distressed by their tinnitus to have and use the opportunity to learn how to “manage” their tinnitus.
The Tinnitus E-Programme is a structured way of accelerating habituation to tinnitus through having an understanding of the tinnitus mechanism, and managing stress arousal that perpetuates it through using relaxation techniques and a cognitive behavioural approach.
What emerged at first as the TMGC in the 1990’s, developed over time and then in June 2009, the Tinnitus E-Programme materialised as something that has helped many people.
Some of the testimonials sent in by people who have benefited from the E-Programme can be found here with more recent testimonials on the Home page
The "Story" behind the Tinnitus E-Programme
written by Debbie Featherstone on 20 June 2009
On Friday 12th June 2009, I received an email from a colleague friend asking me about a specific medication and its effects on tinnitus. A year ago, I researched this particular drug, however, I decided I would conduct another search to bring my findings up to date. The results of an internet search led to several links on the RNID Tinnitus Forum. As I read the posts people had contributed to the Forum about the drug I was investigating, I came across a recent thread on the forum entitled "Is life worth living anymore?"
I have heard these and similar words so often from patients that I work with, and was drawn to reading the many posts in that thread. As the story in the thread unfolded, there was a "second poster" to that thread who was very distressed indeed. Many many people on the Forum had posted messages of kindness, love and support to "second poster", and I too found myself compelled to "post" on the Forum.
Very soon after I posted on the Forum, having left my email address and the address of my website for "second poster" to contact me by email should he want to do so, I received an email from the person who had started that thread. He was asking for help with his tinnitus. I emailed him back and through subsequent emails, we decided he would embark on the tinnitus management programme based on the structure of the TMGC.
That weekend had been a busy one, more so than I had planned due to the emails that I was receiving and replying to, all generated because of my post on the Forum. So it was, that on Sunday evening at 9.30pm I was laying on my couch "having a rest" after the busy weekend contemplating turning in for the night at 10pm which is my normal bedtime when I have clinics the next day. Suddenly, the words "Why not run an on-line programme for anyone who wants to use it?" popped into my head!
This was NOT good timing! Why can't I have these bright ideas during the day instead of when it's nearly my bedtime? I'm smiling to myself as I am writing this.... how often does this happen to us! I think it's probably because we are quiet enough to "hear" these "words of inspiration" that come from who knows where?
The ideas kept tumbling in, and so it was that I set up a new Yahoo Group to host what was to become over the next 4 days The Tinnitus E-Programme, and I linked access to it from my Clitheroe Therapies website. For some crazy reason, I decided it HAD to launch on the coming Friday - one week after having spotted the "Is life worth living anymore?" thread. [Note to readers: The Tinnitus E-Programme has since been moved from Yahoo Groups - first hosted by my Clitheroe Therapies website and more recently into this website]
I am writing this on Saturday morning. It's the 20th June 2009 - the day after the Tinnitus E-Programme launched. I'm not quite sure how I managed to get everything done in time for the launch yesterday, but when we set our minds to do something, it gets done! I have been very lucky indeed to find Louise who is helping me to Moderate the E-Programme site. A very special "thank you" to Louise! The emails have continued to come in - they are from people all over the world as well as the UK. I am doing my best to keep up - all of them will be answered. But there are only so many hours in a day and tomorrow, I must devote myself to my wonderful dad - especially as it's Fathers Day in the UK but he's wonderful ALL the time - not just on Fathers Day. It's my lovely mum's birthday later next week too, so tomorrow, it's really important I drive the 100 miles or thereabouts to see them both, as well as my fantastic brothers, nieces and nephews who will all want to see their dad/grandad on Fathers Day! And by the way, I haven't told them about what I've been up to this past week yet!
Anyway, that - in a nut shell - is the story behind the Tinnitus-E-Programme. I have only one RULE about this on-line programme, and that is that it must ALWAYS be free of any charges or fees to people who want to access and use it. If it develops into what I hope it will, I will be seeking external funding to upgrade the technology behind the site itself - if it's meant to happen, it will.
This movie came through to me this morning and I would love to share it with you. Click on the link below, sit back and enjoy it. It opens in a new browser window.
The Tinnitus E-Programme