I asked some of the people I am working with what words they would use to describe my approach.
Here’s some of the words they told me:
Empathetic, Structured, Friendly, Hopeful, Realistic, Non-pressurised, Personable, Individual, Relevant to my lifestyle, Achievable, Specific, Measurable, Objective progress, Under my Control, Structured, Flexible, Supportive, Non-judgmental.
Daniella added: “Empowering. You guide me in finding solutions that work for me and that I feel I have a stake in. That way, I can maintain my recovery plan as I don’t feel it has been imposed on me. And holistic. I also think the holistic approach you use has been invaluable, drawing on lots of different therapies in a way no other speciailist has. A programme such as the one I’ve been doing is effective because it draws on lots of different approaches and does so flexibly. So rather than doing only graded exercise for example, this programme combines physical, emotional and behavioural techniques and does it in a way that is tailored entirely to each individual at the pace that is appropriate for them.”
Philippa explained that what made a big difference to her was the celebration of small successes, and having no pre-set expectations. She also appreciated that, in her own words, that “nothing is a drama” and that anything can be reviewed and changed if it turns out not to be the right decision. She also liked the clear, defined treatment plan and clear progression methods. Ultimately it was also important to Philippa that she knew and understood the principles of how to progress herself. She appreciated having video-conferencing calls over the internet rather than telephone calls (travelling was impossible as she lived far away from London). She also felt that the opportunity to discuss any concerns about her condition was valuable, and that clear guidance was given when she was indecisive, yet she always felt the decision was ultimately hers. Philippa also cites how the programme is more holistic than just physical activity – all aspects were covered eg sleep, nutrition etc. She also thought that having an appointment during her holiday was actually a lot more valuable than she had anticipated, and helped her do a ‘reality check’.
Richard added: ”The graded exercise for me has been very important – because it was scientific and because we only made small incremental changes it gave me something to look forward to and gave me measurable results in terms of my improvement. It stopped my boom and bust cycle because of this and took away the stress; previously I worried about having relapses from doing too much and if I did feel unwell I would stress about whether to carry on or stop. This took the stress out of the situation because the increases were so incremental that I knew any reaction would settle down. Also because we never went backwards this was a big moral booster. I also think you blend well a coaching based approach where the client is encouraged in a safe environment to find their own answers and instruction.”
Emma added: “I was really impressed by the support I was given throughout the whole process. Even when I needed help outside of sessions there was no question that it would be given and included at any time. I found it really valuable having someone to support and advise me. Because of this I completely entrusted myself and have seen great benefits from doing so. I feel I now have the guidelines in place to keep progressing with my recovery and even improve my life afterwards.”