“You have to have a bit of open-mindedness but well, I would say the course gives you a new way of looking at yourself, your lifestyle and your coping mechanisms and it can give you hope that you will have lots of effective strategies to use”
“I was attracted to the course because it described how people with non-medically defined symptoms would be there, all in the same boat seeking for their own solutions to live well with their symptoms. I remember thinking “Oh, how good if there could be a way of managing these symptoms I have”; ‘This course is something slightly different from solely pain management. It is looking at each person in a more holistic way”
“Positive encouragement and tools/space to confront and overcome symptoms”; “I achieved a return to work and overcoming of fibromyalgia pains and symptoms in an on-going manner”
“It is important to link the mind with the body and this link is very individual for each of us. If I don’t listen to my body who will? No other person can really know and get in touch like I can. I have to take responsibility for self – me”
“The facilitator has been excellent. She has inspired me and informed me how to approach stress, giving me a new perspective on my symptoms. I expect these new ideas to help me have an improved quality of life. I will be better able now to cope with stress in my life”
“Having participated in the group I can see the aims of the course would probably be to help people manage symptoms and their approach to managing their symptoms and how they might see that there are other possible ways that they might not have thought about in the past”;
“The course gave me new ways of coping and some pain control, and that might be more or less for some people than others in the group. Although in my group there was a lot of talk about pain. We could see on a weekly basis how they were having a dreadful struggle to cope with pain and this course enabled them to talk about it and to find personal solutions to help”
“Perfectly OK, and complementary, to complete this course and CBT simultaneously”
“I found it supportive and helpful to talk about my problems”; “A sense of community and support from the group”; “The group extended a pattern and changes your perceptions of what you do”; “The group gave me the opportunity to choose to talk about my symptoms(no one was expected to speak about them) and difficulties. I liked learning new strategies for coping with stress. It was about taking time to see things in a new light”.
“I liked that it was different, we did unusual exercises like dancing, walking, breathing. It helped me to cope with my symptoms”; “The focus was on the MUS issues”; “There was a freedom of expression and an alternative way to consider coping with my problems”; “I learned new ways of coping”
“A realisation that it was helpful for me to go out occasionally and do something different from the normal routine (for myself)”; “I am more likely to allow myself some social time and pleasures”
“I wish it had been available 5 years ago when the symptoms started”; “I have no hesitation about recommending it to family and friends or attending again myself”
Examples of Commissioners’ testimonials
"We are very impressed with not only the quality of the service being delivered but also the thoroughness and professionalism of the organisation behind delivering this service"
"I can unreservedly endorse and recommend them as an organisation which will deliver their services to the highest professional and ethical standards"
"They have the benefit of having national leading expertise in the treatment of MUS and have proven themselves as extremely capable of running learning/treatment groups for patients and training staff"
"It should be the first port of call for patients with unexplainable symptoms in primary care"