Reverse Therapy for CFS/ME/FM

My experiences with Mickel Reverse Therapy.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Week 2 - aha...

I understood much more about the process of Mickel Reverse Therapy (RT) in my second session a couple of days ago. The non-events of the first weeks exercises helped the therapist explain to me the direction I should be going in. The 'ah ha' moment for me was realising that the messages that the body is telling me as symptoms is actually telling me, if I stop and get a good felt sense, that I want to do something else than I am doing, that I want to say something where I normally keep quiet. In one sense, I feel like I've been living a lie, a lot of the time, to my true-self (body) for many many years. Trying to control my life and do what seems 'best', instead of doing what seems right, or rather, true, to myself. Whilst day dreaming after the session I got jealous of 'hippy types' who don't care too much (or don't seem to) and live life, as they see fit. From an external perspective this can seem reckless or perhaps selfish - there's got to be a happy medium there somewhere.

The concept of keeping a greater eye on my feeling tones when my symptoms get worse is a challenge for me as I'm quite analytical in my nature, and its hard to not go into psychoanalytic mode when I stumble across a feeling I didn't realise I had. However, I shall try and try!

This week the therapist recommended I do things (to a lesser extent of course) that I love doing but haven't done for ages because of my illness - a slightly controversial statement - I'm not doing those things because the illness prevents them! However, the philosophy is to let the body (true self) build the confidence to believe it can do these things. I think its all to do with the process of getting me back to normality as much as I can within my current limitations, and that being a catalyst for my body to return to its normal self.

I'm writing in my RT 'diary' every day. I'm still not doing it 'right' as I can't seem to find the answers to the exercises, i.e. find out what the messages (symptoms) actually are trying to tell me. So, like last session, I'll get it 'wrong' (less wring this time though) for a couple of weeks and begin another iteration.

I am hopefully, but I do have doubt. Two years of suffering and trying so many things does put a dark cloud over me. RT makes sense, but I'm two weeks in and seen no positive effect on symptoms, and I fear that I just am unable to do the things that RT sets out to do. Either because my CFS sub-type doesn't fit RT, or my conditioning as a person makes it too difficult to carry out RT.

Negativity aside, I do want to work, and mostly believe in the theory. I tell myself if I try as hard as I can, then that is the best I can do.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Week 1 - e-motions

So far nothing spectacular has happened, but yes its early days. Its worth mentioning that three days after my initial appointment I had a worsening of symptoms for four days, that is, I felt like I had 'the flu'. It was strange as I had only had this 'flu type' once before a couple of weeks ago - dizzy, slightly nauseous, significantly more brain fog and weaker. Before Mickel Reverse Therapy (RT) I would have thought that I picked up a bug as I hadn't over done it on the days before hand. However, the RT model would describe this as an exacerbation of the inflammation of the hypothalamus, which could make sense as nobody around me is ill. It's difficult to reason really on the cause, but I'll give the RT perspective as much consideration as other theories. The RT perspective could match up as I've had a fairly emotional week, and as RT says, e-motions are 'energy in motion'. So it could be that things being stirred up have affected the hypothalamus. Also, a couple of weeks ago, before my first session of RT I had a similar pattern occur, i.e. an emotional few days followed by the same symptoms. This could be co-incidence, or could be something worth investigating, anyway I'll mention it to the RT therapist.

On a different note, Reverse Therapy is a talking based therapy but claims not to be psychotherapy. I doubted this for a while, but then looking up the dictionary definition for psychotherapy being:

"the treatment of mental or emotional problems by psychological means"

It makes sense for RT not to describe the therapy as psychotherapy, as RT aims to....

treat physiological problems by psychological means

Something for you to ponder on.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The day after the first session

I won't be able to discuss the ins out outs of what happens in the session itself as the therapist strongly encourages clients not to discuss what goes on within that hour. Reverse Therapy submits that analysing the therapy session further with third parties actually deters from what the client is trying to achieve, that is, listening to the mind-body (not the mind-mind). This reminded me somewhat of the work of Eugene T. Gendlin and focusing, this book is a very good introduction to getting more in touch with what the body can tell you about your state of being.

Anyway, back to the session. So, I want to follow Mickel Reverse Therapy's (RT) guidelines as much as possible as I want to do this 'right', so until I'm 'cured', or until I give up on RT, I'll keep what goes on within the session to myself. However, I don't think writing a blog should matter that much, it is much the same as writing in a diary. The only difference is that the world can see my diary! I don't plan to discuss this with anyone who reads the blog until the right time. Nevertheless, I'll try and allude to some general things to help people understand RT better and allow them to make a more informed choice about whether to take it up for themselves.

So, during the session the therapist summarised the theory of Hypothalamusitis that is within Dr David Mickel's book. We then went on to discuss what was going on in my life prior to me becoming ill. From there the therapist provided me with a 'Message' that I tell myself that in simple terms, rejoins the mind and the body. As the therapist says, it's simple, and it did seem very simple, almost too simple, but that could be my strong cynical side coming out. So disbelief is present but put to the side whilst I give RT as best as a go as I can. I left with some straightforward exercises to do and the partings words that only I can make RT work, thinking back, it would have been nice if the words wore we can make RT work.

At the end of the session I asked the therapist a fairly controversial question - 'Why is Reverse Therapy so expensive?' the answer was fairly obvious - a percentage of each session goes towards David Mickel, as he oversees each session, so his time needs to be paid for, and then there is the room. I expressed my discomfort with it, and that I would expect to pay that (and maybe more) for a Dr. with 20 years experience and 10 years of medical training, but not someone with a year or two's training with a year or two's experience. Nevertheless, I accept her answer and paid without complaining further.

I pressed the therapist to say how many sessions I should have before I should see improvements. Six sessions were a good amount the therapist said, and I should see something before that. So, six sessions fortnightly, or possible every three weeks gives me 3-4 months to try RT. However, I believe I'm doing a lot of the RT already (through a good deal of self-development over the last two years) - I may simply need some fine tuning on my direction, so I would expect things to happen maybe after 3 or 4 sessions. I'll get concerned if there is no effect after that.

So, over the next two weeks, before my second session, I'll be carrying out the exercises and hoping something begins to shift.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The night before my first appointment

Well, I've set this blog up to record my experiences of Mickel Reverse Therapy. I want to add to the knowledge out there on the web. In essence, Reverse Therapy is a new, fairly contraversial, alternative, expensive, talk-based therapy (that isn't psychotherapy) for CFS/ME/FM that has high claims. What it does do is make intuitive sense though for me as its philisophy is based upon CFS being caused by a skewed mind-body link. So, I've decided to use the last bit of my savings and try the therapy out. It may not work and I'll have wasted a wodge of cash. But then again, I beleive there is a fair chance it will work. So I've taken the risk. In fact, I couldn't not do it as I would always be thinking 'what if'. After all, money is there to be spent.

For more info about Reverse Therapy (RT) checkout the following:

This is the main web site of Reverse Therapy that I am going for:

The 'information pack' at the bottom left has all the high-level info you'll need from them.

The guy heading this one 'split up' from his business/therapy partner who also runs this web site:

Likewise, they have their information pack, which can fill a few gaps of the above one.

My feeling is that they are the same therapy, just from different organisations, perhaps will a few insignificant differences.

Here is the story of a person who benefited from Reverse Therapy:

And a person who Reverse Therapy (John Eaton's version) didn't work for: As of July 2005, this link no longer functions, however, you can read Google's cache of the web page. When that dies you can access the Internet Archives version of the person's last entry in 2004, things were still going well for her then (see the lack of archive for 2005).

This page has a some info and a reply from the founder of Reverse Therapy when given tough questions from Dr Charles Shepherd (a CFS expert):

There may be times where I don't go into much detail as things could get fairly personal. Also RT recommends that 'stuff' isn't analysed too much as it can impede the therapy, so I may not ruminate as much as I would normally do. That's it for now....