Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type

Mixed methods

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Myalgic encephalomyelitis-Patients-Psychology, Myalgic encephalomyelitis-Treatment, Chronic fatigue syndrome-Patients-Psychology, Chronic fatigue syndrome-Treatment, Chronic diseases-Psychological aspects, ME/DFS, Coping with chronic illness, Myalgic encephalomyelitis, Chronic fatigue syndrome


This study explored perspectives on mental health therapy of individuals with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). ME/CFS can lead to major reduction in quality of life; however, due to limited knowledge about etiologies or effective medical treatments, symptoms may be deemed psychosomatic and patients are referred to mental health treatment. This mixed methods study gathered responses from 169 individuals who identified as having ME, CFS, and/or ME/CFS from ten reported countries. Some of the common themes for what participants found most helpful from therapy were validation, help adjusting to the changes in their lives, and processing grief and loss related to the disease. Many respondents found it unhelpful to be encouraged to increase activity or to change their thinking so as to believe that they are healthy. The data showed the need for client-centered therapeutic approaches and accommodations to make therapy more accessible to this population.




iv, 65 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-48)

Included in

Social Work Commons