Catherine – Case Study


Catherine – Recovery from ME/CFS, low mood and anxiety

Catherine first started noticing some symptoms of ME/CFS and panic attacks as a teenager. She then fully developed the illness in 2006. She was diagnosed in 2010, 15 years after symptoms began, and received some guidance in Graded Exercise Therapy and activity management from her local NHS but did not feel that this was much help. When she started working with Holly she was able to work part time, as well as being a mum to 2 children. She was not sleeping well and was feeling fatigued, anxious and had low mood much of the time.

She had 5 sessions with Holly.

  • Holly educated Catherine about the sympathetic nervous system and how to reduce her symptoms.
  • We discussed healthy eating and the things that stopped Catherine eating healthily. Catherine changed her diet and noticed she felt more energised.
  • We also discussed relaxation techniques and how to sleep properly, which Catherine found very useful.
  • We explored difficult personal memories, experiences and behaviours until Catherine felt able to move on from these.
  • After 4 sessions Catherine said she felt recovered, in the 5th session we planned for the future so that Catherine felt confident she could continue to be healthy.

Catherine says “It feels so good to be eating cleanly and I feel much more energised from this. I also discovered that I was worrying a lot about symptoms and that would make my symptoms worse. I also always rested when I got a symptom, but then I discovered that sometimes my body actually wanted me to move instead. I have really got to know and understand myself and my body and to do what I really want and need. All of the sessions were led by me and whatever I wanted to work on, sometimes I wondered if I had gone off topic and wasn’t focusing on my ME, but everything was relevant to me as a whole person and that has helped me get better. I used to think really negatively all the time but now I automatically think positively.”