Tinnitus Activities Retraining Therapy (TART)
Overcome Tinnitus, Hyperacusis, and Misophonia Through Personalized Treatment and Support
No two tinnitus, hyperacusis, or misophonia sufferers are alike. Because these conditions affects each person in unique ways, Tinnitus and Hearing Health Calgary does not believe in treatments that only address one component of tinnitus or sound tolerance distress (some focus only on the auditory component, while others only on the psychological aspect). Rather, we use a uniquely integrative tinnitus therapy approach, as advocated by leading tinnitus experts, that addresses multiple components of what makes tinnitus so complex. Read on to find out how we developed a treatment program that takes a different approach to ensuring that the whole person is treated, not just the ears.
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What is TART?
TART stands for Tinnitus Activities Retraining Therapy, an approach unique to Tinnitus and Hearing Health Calgary that combines Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and Tinnitus Activities Treatment, two of the most talked about and commonly used tinnitus management programs recommended by the American Speech and Hearing Association that can be used to treat not only tinnitus, but also decreased sound tolerance (hyperacusis and misophonia).
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
Since its development in 1990 by Dr. Pawel Jastreboff, TRT has been used to reprogram how a tinnitus sufferer interprets their tinnitus sounds by combining sound therapy with directive counseling. With TRT, sound is not intended to induce a sense of relief but rather to create a background of sound to make the tinnitus less noticeable. TRT involves fairly extensive counseling known as directive counseling, which is based on Jastreboff’s very well-known neurophysiological model that is used to help sufferers understand that tinnitus is a meaningless signal. The combination of sound therapy and counseling with TRT is designed to lead to habituation, meaning that you will no longer actively attention to your tinnitus and will not react to it even if you do become aware of it. Used worldwide, the success rates of TRT range from 80-88% (e.g, Bartnik, Fabijanska & Rogowski, 1999; Heitzmann et al, 1999; Herraiz et al, 1999).
For more information, visit Dr. Jastreboff’s TRT website.
Tinnitus Activities Treatment (TAT)
Based on over 20 years of research at the University of Iowa by Dr. Richard Tyler, TAT takes a slightly different approach in that counseling tends to be more interactive rather than directive, and focus on four specific functions that can be impaired as a result of tinnitus: 1) thoughts and emotions, 2) hearing, 3) sleep, and 4) concentration. Sound therapy is used to help decrease the prominence of the tinnitus and help ease the tinnitus sufferer into habituation, but habituation is not the only goal here.
For more information, visit the University of Iowa’s TAT website.
How Does TART Work?
As Bonita Chow is one of very few Audiologists in Canada with dual training in both TRT and TAT, it does not make sense for us to offer only one strategy or the other, especially when both methods have the potential to help any given tinnitus sufferer. This hybrid approach also enables us to combine into one protocol all recommended elements of treatment according to the 2014 Clinical Practice Guideline for Tinnitus established by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Regardless of which theories one subscribes to, experts agree that the most effective tinnitus management strategies are the ones that focus on multiple dimensions of what makes tinnitus so bothersome.
At Tinnitus and Hearing Health Calgary, all of our treatment options treat the the whole person, and considers individual differences and needs.
So how do we combine TRT and TAT?
We use the principles and rigorous protocols of TRT when it comes to assessing your tinnitus as well as educating you about this condition, how our auditory system works, and how your brain can be retrained to adapt to treat tinnitus as meaningless and non-threatening. Traditional TRT, when followed in its strictest sense, can take 9-18 months to complete.
However, at Tinnitus and Hearing Health Calgary, we want to do much better than that.
Using a far more holistic and adaptive protocol that takes into account the principles of TAT, we also address how tinnitus is affecting your quality of life. Throughout 10 sessions over the course of 6 months, we will consider how your concentration, hearing and communication, sleep, as well as your thoughts and emotions are all being affected by your tinnitus. Because we are attacking tinnitus from multiple angles instead of just one, we can expect to see consistent and measurable results in 6 months instead of the 9-18 months in traditional TRT. After your 6-month TART program has concluded, we do recommend periodic maintenance sessions just to make sure you stay on track.
While sound therapy may also be recommended to help transform your perception of tinnitus, TART will help transform your reaction to your condition so that even though you may have tinnitus, tinnitus will no longer have you.
Who is TART for?
TART is an intensive and fully individualized 6-month program for anyone who is bothered by their tinnitus or hypersensitivity to sound to the point where you feel your quality of life is negatively affected by it.
If you’re tired of being told to “just live with it” and you are ready to take back control, but not sure how to go about it on your own, TART is designed for you.
However, for the vast majority of people for whom tinnitus is a mild annoyance that comes and goes, TART may not be for you. If your goal is to get more information or you prefer a more self-guided approach with some light coaching to get you pointed in the right direction, check out our Take Charge of Your Tinnitus workshop.
Tinnitus Activities Retraining Therapy (TART)
Includes 10 sessions over the course of 6 months of one-on-one treatment with a Registered Clinical Audiologist who is a trained Tinnitus Care Provider, customized lifestyle wellness exercises for tinnitus, hyperacusis or misophonia, plus a post-treatment tinnitus and sound tolerance reassessment. Depending on your individual needs, we will focus on areas of 1) hearing and communication, 2) thoughts and emotions, 3), concentration and 4) sleep.
Sound Enrichment devices, if they are recommended, will be assessed at an additional cost.
Individual TART sessions are available for $175 per 60 minutes.
Start with your FREE 15-Minute Meet & Greet consultation with Bonita to ensure we’re a good fit to help you meet your goals!