TomPDave (not his real name for privacy purposes) is one of the guys who came back from a war situation with a condition called ‘tinnitus’, a very loud sound in your head. Tinnitus was taking over Dave’s life and he, understandably, absolutely hated it. He came to see me to discuss how to make changes, as nothing he had tried so far, had had an impact. He choose my Success Package, 5 sessions in 3  months, to sort himself out.


One of the key words in change is acceptance. If you can’t accept where you are at this moment in time, unhappy – unsettled – out of control, you create an extra tension in your life by trying to fight the feelings and the situation. And what happens if you attack? You will meet defence and resistance. This is what happened to Dave. He was angry with his tinnitus, screamed at it (inside) and told it to f**k off. Result: tinnitus became stronger. Tinnitus level of impact on his life – between not at all (0) and overwhelming (10) – scored a 9 at the start of his life changing journey.

The power of meditation

Our first meeting was a real revelation for Dave. Talking about his ‘relationship’ with tinnitus, realising how self-critical he was and being able to share his feelings was the start of a ‘whole new Dave’. As part of my coaching, I teach clients some mindfulness meditation techniques. To read about the benefits of mindfulness meditation, click here. Especially for people, like Dave, who are continuously pestered by an intrusive sensation, it is very difficult to feel relaxed and meditation is a great tool to help develop the ability to relax.

Dave walked away with some actions, that were totally new to him, such as meditations and self- awareness exercises.

He came back after two weeks, with a big smile on his face, saying: ‘Hey doctor, what have you done with me? I feel like a buddha’. He gave an example of what happened at work, a special division within the army with males only. ‘Usually, it is very important for me to be seen and to get it right and I will go through great lengths to get that. However, I was listening to the discussion and decided that there was no point in this fighting with words, just for the kick of ‘winning’, so I did not take part. My colleagues were looking at me, inviting me to get involved, but I shrug my shoulders and went on with what I was doing. A few of them came up to me, asking if I was all right. And you know what, I felt great!’

Dave learned through a range of exercises very quickly to observe, instead of blindly dive into the situation. And not only did he do that in his work setting, he also applied that to himself and his responses to his tinnitus.

During the second session, we did a body scan (a particular type of meditation) and Dave experienced the absence of his tinnitus………. How amazing was that?

Looking back

‘I felt miserable, unhappy, angry and thought I was going mental. I woke up with dark thoughts every morning, my tinnitus was screaming through my head and it was very tough to survive. I wasn’t living, I was just surviving.

Seeing Mariette is one of the best things I have done in my life. She gave me hope, but also made clear that I had to work at it. Which gave me a feeling of control, an empowerment.

I learned a new way of thinking, feeling and acting. Love meditation and read more and more about spirituality. My relationships have changed, but of course, that is because I have changed.

  1. My tinnitus is not disturbing; I don’t always notice it, but if so, on a scale of 0-10 it is reduced to a 3
  2. The dark thoughts that woke me up every night have disappeared. Occasionally, they pop up and then they dissipate
  3. I feel calm, focussed and free. I am not a prisoner of my mind anymore.’


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