A Venn diagram of three circles. Each circle has a text. One circle says: Mental. One circle says: physical. One circle says: Emotional / Social. There's a title on the image as well that says: A 3D approach to recovery and health.

Here at the Helpful Clinic, we take what we call ‘a 3D approach to health and recovery‘.

It’s an approach originally developed by Engel in 1977 that I have adopted and honed, following my personal experiences of dealing with Fibromyalgia – a condition that I dealt with and recovered from for nearly seven years.

My own experience, among other things, revealed that a one-dimensional approach to recovery was often used (certainly in my case anyway) for tackling conditions like Fibromyalgia – even though only focussing on health from just the psychological or the physical side provides a significantly lopsided view.

It was an issue that I was determined to address and which directly led to the development of The Helpful Clinic’s unique 3D approach. In fact, it was one of the primary reasons why The Helpful Clinic was founded back in 2015.

Talking of our foundation, we’re celebrating our third birthday this month. The help of more than 100 volunteers over these three years has been paramount to enable the Helpful crew and myself to help so many people get back on track by reducing and often fully resolving the health issues they were experiencing.

Taking a three-dimensional approach – one which focuses on biology, psychology and social context, referred to as the BioPsychoSocial model – means that we can look at all the contributing factors of illness and build the foundations of sustainable and solid improved health and wellbeing.

The Helpful Clinic specialises in treating conditions that are often grouped under the heading ‘Medically Unexplained Symptoms’.  These are conditions like ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue syndrome), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Fibromyalgia and Burnout. We also specialise in working with people struggling with PTSD (Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder).

Work with us and you’ll soon here the term ‘Sherlock Symptoms’. It’s what we use to refer to the way our patients are feeling, the symptoms they are experiencing. It’s named so because we encourage our patients to turn detective (with our help) and search for clues as to why they are feeling the way they are i.e. why their health has deteriorated and what is happening in each of those three areas.

It’s just one of the ways in which we put our patients in the driving seat when it comes to their health and their recovery.

Remember, it’s always more helpful to be curious than critical when dealing with an illness or set of symptoms.

You can read more about our 3D approach to health and recovery in the September issue (2018) of Speak your Mind (page 33), a platform for mental and physical health awareness produced by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.


Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for the Helpful newsletter to get helpful tips and tools straight to your inbox.

Go gently, hold steady, stay the course.

All the best, Thor

Thor sitting and writing and Denny the dog sitting in her suitcase bed looking out the window