Specialist rehabilitative programme based on CBT

We offer a child-and parents-friendly therapy approach. Our specialist rehabilitative programme is based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). The aim of therapy is to help the child to learn alternative techniques to diminish the distress linked with tinnitus or certain sounds (in the case of hyperacusis and misophonia), then the awareness of them fades over time. Although the therapy is complex, it will be adjusted to suit the level of the child’s cognitive development.

Misophonia, hyperacusis, and tinnitus focused therapy is very successful in children and typically comprises between 14 and 20 individual sessions. Sessions are often delivered via video calls in order to avoid unnecessary travel and disruption to the child’s school attendance. At least one parent needs to be present during the session.

By the end of specialised rehabilitation programme based on CBT your child should be able to:

  • Learn about their ears and how we hear sound.
  • Understand why our adverse emotional reaction to sound or to tinnitus makes our brain sensitive to these noises.
  • Feel safe and reassured that their problem is understood and there is an atmosphere of support.Differentiate between their thoughts, “I hate this noise”, and their emotions, feeling “angry”.
  • Understand that modifying their thoughts helps with modifying their emotions-induced by trigger noises or tinnitus.Retrain their brain to un-focus on the trigger noises or tinnitus by managing their emotions and thoughts.
  • Develop tolerance to unwanted sensory stimuli and their consequential emotions.
  • Modify their unrealistic perceptions and expectations about themselves and others.
  • Identify their own avoidance behaviours and rituals relevant to the experience of misophonia, tinnitus and hyperacusis; explore the reasons for these behaviours and plan to change them.
  • Understand the root cause of their reaction to tinnitus or the trigger sounds.
  • Gain skilfulness in carrying out the SEL technique (Stop avoidance, Expose yourself to the trigger sounds/tinnitus and Learn from it).
  • Create simple “sunshine” thoughts to replace the “dark clouds” of negative cognitions.
  • Gain skilfulness in KKIS technique (Know when to use “sunshine thoughts”, Keep on with the emotions, Identify the “dark could” thought, and Substitute then with “sunshine thoughts”.
  • Gain confidence in dealing with setbacks in long term.

Zone of regulation

In addition to our specialised rehabilitation programme for tinnitus, hyperacusis, and misophonia management based on CBT (as described above), we offer a programme of sensory and emotional regulation which is very important in children with sensory and emotional regulation difficulties.

Sherry is our paediatric occupational therapist who is expert in Zone of Regulation therapy. She has worked with children with sensory and emotional difficulties for over 15 years. In our clinic, zone of regulation is delivered as a complimentary intervention (6 session package) to the CBT-based rehabilitation approach in order to teach children self-regulation and emotional control. Children with misophonia and hyperacusis experience strong emotional reactions to the trigger sounds. The sensory overload in these children does not let them to fully engage and participate in school and social activities. The zones of regulation equips children with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize their own triggers, develop problem-solving skills, and become more attuned to how their actions affect other people.

What does the zones teach Children?

By the end of zone of regulation therapy your child should be able to:

  • Identify their emotions by categorizing feelings into four zones (Green zone, blue zone, yellow zone and red zone).
  • Understand their emotions, sensory needs, and thinking patterns.
  • Regulate their emotions and understand others’ feelings.
  • Gain skills to control impulses.
  • Use various tools that are calming or alerting.
  • Learn coping strategies and develop problem solving skills.
  • Understand how to match the size of their reaction to the size of the problem.
  • Understand how their behaviour affects the thoughts and feelings of the people around them.
For Hearing Healthcare Professionals