Is CBT the solution to managing tinnitus?

Tinnitus does not need to rule your life. There are approaches, ranging from hearing technology to masking and sound therapy, which do genuinely manage the condition, bringing relief from the often-constant noise in your head.

Change your thoughts, feelings and response

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for tinnitus is an excellent and effective approach we use at The Hearing Clinic with clients experiencing tinnitus. This NICE-recommended treatment works by teaching you how to completely alter the way you think about, and respond to, tinnitus.

Here’s how it works. Your thoughts influence over how you feel and behave. For example, if you’re running late for a meeting, it’s easy to become frustrated, even though there’s nothing you can do. If you were to think, ‘There’s nothing I can do but wait’, does it change how you feel and behave?

Often, when you experience tinnitus, it’s easy to get into a negative thought process along the lines of – I can’t cope with this – No one has tinnitus this bad – It’s wrecking my life – I can’t cope. You’ll probably become angry or insecure which will reinforce your negative thoughts.

However, when you realise that you’re thinking negative thoughts, you can start to challenge whether they’re accurate and true. When you realise they’re neither, you can start to change them.

Retrain your brain

With CBT for tinnitus, the key is to train your brain to learn that tinnitus is a sound that doesn’t require your attention. When you do this, the tinnitus becomes less intrusive and easier to live with. If you start to change your thoughts to ‘I can learn to cope with this’, you will start to become habituated to the sound so you become less aware of it.

Try this technique when you next notice your tinnitus:

‍S: Stop
T: Take a breath – in through your nose for 5 counts and gently out through your mouth to the count of 7
O: Observe your reaction
P: Put your thoughts into perspective
P: Practice saying a more helpful thought

Learn more about Tinnitus at the British Tinnitus Association

Call us today to improve your life with tinnitus

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy & CBT Management

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