The percieved effectiveness of the use of cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of clients diagnosed with Myalgic Mncephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as ME/CFS)

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McNamee, Sorcha
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BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The Objectives of the study was to investigate the perceived effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). As CBT is being recommended more and more as a treatment for ME/CFS it was important to get the views of ME/CFS sufferers who had underwent CBT as a treatment. The-Design and Method 7 ME/CFS sufferers that had received CBT as a treatment for ME/CFS participated in an open-ended telephone interview. This is a qualitative research project and the data was analysed using thematic data analysis that identified themes and categories from the interview data recorded. The Results the majority of the volunteers 57.1 % found that they had no improvement in their health after the CBT treatment. Of these 57.1 % they all reported difficulties with the therapist either not believing the volunteer's explanation of their illness, or if they had knowledge of the illness still pushing them into exertion that would have caused them to relapse. The 42.9% of people that reported an improvement in their health after the therapy all said that the therapists were understanding, had knowledge of ME/CFS and were non-judgemental and empathic. The Conclusions It is clear that any cognitive behavioural therapist that has a client with ME/CFS would be wise to do some research about the illness, having knowledge of this illness and approaching the client with a non-judgemental, empathic attitude from the results of this study has an effect on the outcome of the therapy.