Non-Complex and Complex Tinnitus - Debbie Featherstone | www.debbiefeatherstone.com

Tinnitus & Cognitive Psychotherapy
Counselling, Psychotherapy
& Tinnitus Management
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To qualify what I mean more precisely by ‘non-complex tinnitus’, much of my day to day clinic work is spent working with people who have distressing but ‘non-complex’ tinnitus. Tinnitus is the sole significant presenting issue, with no “co-morbidities”. Most commonly, non-complex tinnitus is idiopathic in nature – in other words, the cause is unknown and complications in terms of pathology have been medically ruled out.

Treatment Process

The process I use involves teaching the neurophysiology of tinnitus and methods of altering the neurobiology to begin impacting the physiological drives that perpetuate distress. In most cases, this simultaneously reduces tinnitus loudness perception.

The process continues by using specific aspects of the cognitive behavioural model to challenge the underlying meaning that the person’s experience of ‘tinnitus’ has to him/her, enabling his/her perceptions to change.

Even those whose tinnitus does not vary in loudness i.e. where loudness does not vary, for example when due to whiplash, the meaning that tinnitus used to have alters and they are able to ignore it. This process on average takes between 12-24 weeks.

I would point out that although the above is standard in my practice, access to clinicians with the skills to deliver this process is not widely available and is unlikely to be so without considerable investment in training for appropriately qualified and experienced health professionals.

NOTE: For a significant proportion of people who have distressing tinnitus, and certainly when a THI (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory) score indicates mild-moderate tinnitus distress (18-56%) I have made available the ‘core treatment’ in the form of online content plus 1-1 contact with me available online through the Tinnitus E-Programme.

Tinnitus E-Programme: www.tinnituseprogram.org

Tinnitus E-Programme Mission Statement, Aims & Objectives are here: www.tinnituseprogram.org/mission-statement.html

One-To-One in Clinic (Clitheroe Therapies Clinic) and Online Using Zoom (similar to Facetime, Skype etc)

For those wishing to work one to one, with non-complex or complex tinnitus, the easiest way to contact me is either by sending an email to debbie@debbiefeatherstone.com or send in a Tinnitus Assessment Booking Form


Complex Tinnitus might include any of the following in addition to tinnitus distress. The list is by no means complete:
  • Hyperacusis
  • Vestibular disorder (balance)
  • Hearing loss
  • Non-ideopathic tinnitus (when a cause is identifiable, common examples being Acoustic Shock Injury, pulsatile tinnitus)
  • Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome (TTTS)
  • Pre-existing (pre-tinnitus onset) anxiety and/or depression
  • Difficult life situations (home, family, work, social related)
  • Additional significant health issues

There is a section in Articles of Interest (blog) underway that presents some complex tinnitus case studies

Debbie Featherstone MSc Psychotherapy & Tinnitus Management Specialist

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