Research Request


Hi Everyone.  I’ve received the request below from John Hills.  I will leave it to individuals to respond to him if you wish.


“My name’s John Hills and I’m a counsellor in the Leeds area.  Next year I’m starting some research at the University of Leeds into counselling and psychological therapies for Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) – that is physical symptoms for which the medical explanation is not complete or unsatisfactory.

Just a bit of information on my background:  I qualified with an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Leeds and have been practicing since 2011 in a variety of settings including palliative care, prison work, and student services.  I am a registered member with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and my registration number is 098932.  I will be beginning PhD study at the University of Leeds in October 2016 and am for the time being visiting conferences and patient support groups, teaching seminars and workshops, and we presently have one article under peer review.  I was DBS checked for my last placement and am in the process of applying for a new one, but can also provide this information when I get it.

I know that for some the association of ME with MUS will be contentious but I also know there is often a diagnostic uncertainty and thus a stigma, people feel like they’re not being understood, not being taken seriously.

I’d really like to hear from people with ME, chronic fatigue, or other related symptoms about their experiences as patients, any experiences of counselling or psychological therapies, and any reflections on the meanings that people make about their own symptoms.

Do you think your group would be interested in me visiting either in person or online for (some or all of) a session/coffee morning so that I could hear their views? This wouldn’t be part of the research project, just me gathering information and insights before I began.  Also, do you know of any other opportunities for me to hear the views of those with first-hand experience? Would be interested to hear your views too!

Really hope you can help – the research that we’re looking to do really is directed towards helping people further down the track manage and find relief from their symptoms.

My phone number is 07789 755606, and email address is:



All best wishes,



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