Trial By Error: A Curriculum for Treating CFS with CBT
13 JUNE 2018
By David Tuller, DrPH
Ten years ago, the National Health Service began rolling out across England a program called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, or IAPT. This program arose out of the notion that many people were suffering from untreated depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. In parallel with that, research suggested that treating these ailments would not only be good for public health but would in turn help restrain overall medical costs. The most common but not the only psychotherapeutic intervention offered by IAPT services is cognitive behavior therapy.
Why is this relevant to people with ME/CFS? Because IAPT is currently expanding its services to serve more people from two specific groups: those suffering from recognized long-term conditions, such as COPD or diabetes, as well as those suffering from the category known as “medically unexplained symptoms.” And for the purposes of IAPT, the illness the program calls either CFS or CFS/ME definitely falls under this MUS category.