Counselling and tinnitus

For those interested in finding a counsellor for tinnitus, the BTA recently were invited to the Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, and we were able to ask any question we liked of David Baguley, their Deputy Director, our President, and former Head of Audiology at Addenbrooke's Hospital. He's probably a familiar name to many of you for his tireless work for tinnitus patients.

We often get asked on our helpline to recommend a tinnitus counsellor or therapist for things like CBT, and we asked David for his advice, because we know that there aren't many counsellors who are specialised in tinnitus.

He said that there is no need for a counsellor to have had specific experience with tinnitus patients, the CBT or counselling would be the most effective treatment for the stress and anxiety around the condition which would in turn benefit the tinnitus. Many, if not all, counsellors are experienced in working with patients with long term conditions, even if they are not familiar with tinnitus. It would be perfectly acceptable to take some literature on tinnitus and ask the counsellor/therapist to read it ahead of any further sessions. If they are willing to do so then go elsewhere and find another who is!

The following two websites can find a whole range of accredited, registered counsellors and therapists:

itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/

counselling-directory.org.uk/

Hope this helps!

Nic (BTA Communications Manager)

5 Replies

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  • To some extent, yes. Unfortunately though the cost of paying for a counsellor is prohibitive ( over a third of my weekly income but I have found a good oneat last, after 4 years of trying ). If this is such a fundamental part of managing tinnitus , it is so shame that inot this case the NHS is not providing free treatment. There is also a need, I think , for supporting to access other services eg relaxation. Having worked with people with long term conditions for many years, things font seem to have changed much. Could some of the money spent on tinnitus research be used for counsellors please ?

  • Hi Lindsay

    Hopefully you'll be pleased to know that some of the research money has gone into developing a manual and training for audiologists to deliver counselling in an NHS setting. This would of course be free at the point of delivery. The pilot has been well received, and papers are due to be published shortly.

    Best wishes

    Nic

  • Hi . That is good news , yes .

  • I would like to go down this route rather than using the antidepressants prescribed by my doctor. However, finding a local counsellor with tinnitus experience is made harder because it is not included as a 'reason for therapy' in either of the websites listed. For example, I have a choice of 82 councillors within 5 miles and 154 within 10 miles!

    Is it possible for the BTA to lobby these websites to include tinnitus?

  • It is hard to find a counsellor, but really the things to look for are:

    - style - do you know what kind of therapy you are looking for?

    - engagement - do you like the person? Are you confident in sharing your story with them and the feedback that you get

    - convenience - is it easy to get to their place of work? How about parking or public transport?

    - timing - can they offer you the times you want?

    - cost - are their fees affordable?

    Like anything worthwhile, it needs a bit of homework first, but if you put in the effort now, it will pay off.

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