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Professor Findley, Neuro Behavioral Training, the National ME Centre, and the Lightning Process

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by DadgummedShango, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. DadgummedShango

    DadgummedShango

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    I realise I'm more than a little late to the Lightning Process party and that there are a number of LP analogues which it would potentially be a time-consuming duplication of efforts (given the high level of cogency elsewhere on PR critiquing the LP) to devote separate threads to. I did think, however, that for the interests of CFS/ME sufferers contemplating admission to the National ME Centre (NMEC), outpatient care under the auspices of Professor Leslie Findley, or the undertaking of Neuro Behavioral Training, it was worth heading up a separate post specifically for discussion of these (in the service of increased visibility and centralising discussion), but also the Lightning Process in the context of Professor Findley's patient services, his research interest in the same, and his co-development of what is ostensibly a very similar intervention: Neuro Behavioral Training (NeBeT). I think this is the case because Professor Findley's interests in the LP and involvement in NeBeT aren't readily apparent, and his professorship, position as consultant, and CFS/ME specialism mean his professional opinion on the topic of LP/NeBeT is likely to be considered authoritative to the LP/NeBeT-uninitiated.

    The NMEC website lists the website for NeBeT at the top of its 'Useful Links' section and I understand Professor Findley conducted a small pilot into the LP circa 2007, of which the results have never been published. I further understand from a post made by a user on this forum that Professor Findley and the LP practitioner that was involved in conducting the study had a falling out of sorts which resulted in the results not being published. I'm also aware through Suzy Chapman's old site MEAgenda of anecdote supporting the suggestion that the LP has been implemented at the NMEC. (Thank you, Suzy.) As an aside, I recommend checking out the backdated posts on http://meagenda.wordpress.com/ on the Lightning Process if you haven't yet.

    Www.nebet.co.uk states that NeBeT is based on aspects of hypnotherapy, NLP, life coaching, and occupational therapy. So, briefly:

    Hypnotherapy proponents cite trials that they believe prove hypnotherapy efficacious in ameliorating a number of conditions. The NHS position is that these trials have been of insufficient sample size and/or methodological quality and as such don't advocate the use of hypnotherapy for any condition. Hypnotherapy has also been criticised as lacking community consensus with respect to how to induce the trance state: no uniformity means it is impossible to say whether a trance state has been induced. Further, no objective evidence of a trance state has stood up to critical scrutiny to date.

    NLP consists in a number of techniques that would take space to enumerate, so I've placed down a couple of links in my references to give an overview from a sceptical perspective for those interested. The authors of a study evaluating empirical evidence from the Neurolinguistic Programming Research Database stated that:

    Life coaching, as with NeBeT itself, seems to draw on other disciplines for its inspiration (including but not limited to psychology and sociology), but there is no community consensus as to what life coaching involves. Some life coaches may use hypnotherapy or other unproven techniques, and it's important to note that whilst life coaching may draw on psychological principles in places, it isn't available on or advocated by the NHS in the UK for any condition, nor does it have a reliable evidence base for ameliorating any condition.

    I think it's worth noting here that NeBeT isn't just highly derivative and unproven. It's derived from interventions that are themselves highly derivative and unproven.

    Occupational therapy is a legitimate discipline in its own right. However, if it is the only legitimate discipline that constitutes one of the tenets of NeBeT then NeBeT isn't NeBeT, it's OT.

    In defence of the LP, Phil Parker states that LP borrows from NLP, osteopathy, and life coaching, but according to Phil, 'this isn't an exhaustive list.' He goes on to state that LP is 'unique' and 'something that doesn't quite fit with what you already know' and thus unlike anything you will have sceptically dismissed, or tried and found inefficacious before. This is just meaningless semantic twaddle, but it's meaningless semantic twaddle that I would anticipate being similarly averred in defence of NeBeT, so I wanted to get in first. If there is something about LP (or NeBeT) that sets it apart as more efficacious than its component theories, Parker et al would be foolish not to articulate what that something is and any extant evidence in favour of it. Parker knows it's hard to dismantle a fuzzy argument and uses this to full effect.

    How it works and does it work?

    The 'How it Works' section of the NeBeT website is an exercise in non sequiturs that mentions the amygdala and hypothalamus in a half-hearted explanation that doesn't explain anything, but does sound like if elucidated it might resemble the pseudo-explanations that have come out of the LP camp, again suggesting a repackaging of the same. No research has been published investigating the efficacy of NeBeT to date.

    Further criticisms:

    There seems to be no inhibition about flaunting Professor Findley's face and name as co-contributor in the devising of NeBeT, yet, whilst listing several bodies of which Susan Codd and Audrey Norman are presumably members and governed to varying degrees by, no mention is made of the GMC on the NeBeT site, whatsoever.

    As with the LP, training is intensive: the course is spread over three consecutive days, four hours a day, at a business centre (and at the NMEC?) - not appropriate for patients of a sufficient degree of severity to find such intensity debilitating.

    There's a section for positive anecdote from past trainees where there should be a section for the research that should have been undertaken to ensure NeBeT is both safe and efficacious, but hasn't.

    I haven't reiterated any of the arguments specific to the Lightning Process here, but they can be read in these threads and elsewhere on PR:

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...evaluated-in-research-study-on-children.2695/

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/article-an-md-on-the-lightning-process.3720/

    If anyone has further knowledge about the extent to which the LP or NeBeT are implemented at the NMEC and feel they can post that information here, I think that would be extremely useful to those reading who are considering admission to the NMEC.

    I'm cognisant that the spotlight has been very much on the SMILE research conducted by Esther Crawley et al, and that a number of you have been advocating extensively and eloquently for patient safety in the context of LP implementation and research - if my post is stepping on toes in any way, or considered counterproductive to those current issues, I'd be happy with a consensus to revise it as appropriate.

    References:

    1. http://www.nebet.co.uk/ viewed 7/12/2013;
    2. http://www.nmec.org.uk/links viewed 7/12/2013;
    3. http://www.meassociation.org.uk/2008/03/a-canadian-take-on-the-lightning-process/ viewed 7/12/2013;
    4. http://meagenda.wordpress.com/2010/...-parker-lightning-process-on-radio-berkshire/ viewed 7/12/2013;
    5. http://www.badscience.net/forum/vie...d=de0106081300a6b94f19bb7ee024a0fb&start=1800 viewed 7/12/2013;
    6. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/hypnotherapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx viewed 7/12/2013;
    7. http://m.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/the-trouble-hypnosis viewed 7/12/2013;
    8. 'An Introduction to the Lightning Process®: The First Steps to Getting Well' by Phil Parker, Hay House UK, 2012;
    9. http://www.skeptic.org.uk/magazine/onlinearticles/493-intro-to-nlp viewed 7/12/2013
    10. http://skepdic.com/neurolin.html viewed 7/12/2013
    11. http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/ppb.2010.41.issue-2/v10059-010-0008-0/v10059-010-0008-0.xml viewed 7/12/2013

    *Edited for clarity.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    It's a good idea to make it clear what is happening out at the National ME Centre. I'd forgotten about the place and didn't even realise that Prof Findley was still working. Thought he had retired or lost the centre.

    My experience was that after I was assessed at the Queens Hospital, Romford they referred me to the NMEC for "treatment". There was no physical medical help in offer I was told and it would purely be CBT type psychological therapy and pacing. I explained to the Neurologist was assessed me at Queens that I had done all of this before and not found it useful. She gave me a telephone number to ring at the NMEC and when I made inquiries was put through to an antipodean woman who was going to do the sessions.

    When I spoke to her she said she used CBT and NLP (and maybe LP ?) and when I explained that I had done these types of things before in the past and they had not helped in the slightest, she expressed surprise and said that I should come and see her still (and pay for private sessions).

    I've met other London patients who have been seen at the NMEC and had LP through Prof Findley. Both patients, interestingly were also prescribed medical drug treatments by the Prof as well. One patient, in my opinion, is in severe denial on her symptoms and believes that she needs to minimize them to "stop doing the ME" but lurches from one health disaster to the next. The other patient had a lot of different treatments from the Prof such a antibiotics and other drugs and did eventually make a partial recovery. He does attribute his partial recovery to the LP though.

    There was I think a radio 4 interview with Prof F and I'll try and find that as I think he mentioned the LP there.

    ps. ah, here it is

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/transcripts_2007_31_mon_02.shtml
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    [pure rumour]: I'd heard something about Findley pushing patients into his own version of LP.

    Welcome to @DadgummedShango . Thanks for the extra info, this is all stuff I'm not that aware of.
    DadgummedShango likes this.
  4. DadgummedShango

    DadgummedShango

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    I'm a little uncertain about NMEC inpatient service current status. The NMEC site states:

    Note 'suspended', not terminated, but we were in contact with them regarding possible admission in 2011*, prior to which, if I remember correctly, an assessment with Susan Codd was necessary. I honestly don't know if they are currently taking admissions, anyone have any info on this?

    @Esther12 - thanks very much indeed for the welcome.

    *Edit - this would've been to Professor Findley's CFS/ME unit at Queen's Hospital, Romford.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  5. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Ah, yes - I remember that programme. Peter White (the blind English journalist - not THAT Peter White) did his best challenging the proponents without being rude.
  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Wow - you really have done your homework! More than I can take in in one go, but thanks very much.
  7. DadgummedShango

    DadgummedShango

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    It would appear that the Romford neurology beds haven't been available to CFS/ME since circa mid 2011(?)

    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/201...s-is-total-unnacceptable-says-me-association/

    The article references Professor Findley's retirement, but in light of the following, it doesn't appear to have been a full retirement.

    'NHS specialist services – this page last updated 6 December 2013' on the ME Association's website has the following information re Professor Findley's Romford services:

    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/nhs-specialist-services-throughout-the-uk/

    It looks as though I really am too late to the party, but hopefully the above will be of use to anyone considering Romford outpatient services / private NeBeT.
    Esther12 likes this.
  8. DadgummedShango

    DadgummedShango

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  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Always good to have access to more info. Ta for that.

    Hop into the recent SMILE threads if you want some more up to date fun.

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