Trude Wiberg

I have been a participant on the Lightning Process program, and my experience is not positive.

LP is a mental training course, and the idea behind is that you can recover by changing your thought patterns.

The marketing beforehand claimed 100% recovery for participants.

I started the program optimistically, but only got more sick and exhausted for each day.

In the end I was terribly weak, but the instructor insisted that I should continue with the method.

After the course I continued at home, and on the phone the instructor said the lack of effect was due to me not doing things right, not working hard enough, and not being motivated enough to get well.

I continued, worked harder and used course materials to make sure I did everything “right”. After six weeks I collapsed, and was told by the doctor to stop.

I should have quickly realised that LP wasn’t right for me, but the influence from the instructor was unequivocal and strong.

In retrospect, it’s easy to see obviously criticisable aspects of the method, such as that the patient has imposed on them all responsibility for the absence of a positive effect. In this way, the method is made infallible and unassailable.

To me, this hit hard. The worsening of the disease and the self-blame for my failure, where “100%” of the patients succeeded, made me severely depressed for the first and only time during my 23 years with ME.

I had to go to therapy in order to put LP behind me.

During the course, we were also told that “if you tell yourself that you are ill, you’ll never get well”.

Even though I almost crawled out of the course room the last day, I was supposed to say I was completely healthy.

Later I’ve met and read about people who say they are recovered, but still unable to work. LP’s self-declared success rate is therefore hardly real.

I choose to share this experience because there are many who have deteriorated after LP. We hear about the success stories, but not so much of the negative stories.

It’s not as cool to come forward with such a story, and besides, it’s the “I fought and won”-stories that are most popular in the media.

My experience suggests that we should have a sober and critical view of LP.

The method is obviously good for those who are getting better, but it has a bad effect, and can even be dangerous, for those who have no effect, or who deteriorate.

I am convinced that there is a real reason behind someone improving and others not, and that the reason is not lack of effort or motivation in those who don’t improve.

There’s a lot of interesting research going on into ME. This gives hope for new insights and new treatment options. Perhaps the future will bring a more differential way to diagnose?

In that case, it may explain why some methods are working for some and not for others.

This is an excerpt from a text published in Aftenposten. The full (Norwegian) text can be read here: