Success Stories

These are real accounts from our clients who had suffered ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and other conditions before having Mickel Therapy.

  • I started to feel the benefits of Mickel therapy very quickly.

    (Therapist – Susan Murray)

    As an ME sufferer of 30 years, I felt that Drs never understood the problem or had the answers, it was an immense relief to finally find a therapy that understands the frustration and addresses the problem in a sensible and sympathetic way and comes at it from a completely different direction. I started to feel the benefits of Mickel therapy very quickly and it really helps that the basis of it is enjoying yourself and getting more out of your life without feeling guilty about it. I would recommend Mickel Therapy to anyone that has been diagnosed with ME, CFS or Fibromyalgia, provided they are ready to put in the commitment to make the changes to their life that are necessary for a successful outcome.

    Bethany Walpole-Wroe (Bowen Therapist), October 2018




  • Mickel Therapy has provided me with the critical missing jigsaw piece.

    Now I have the understanding and skills I need to shed symptoms of
    CFS/M.E. when they arise, and over time, to lessen their initial

    Before I was introduced to Mickel Therapy by Leisa Zakeri, I had
    developed my own independent view of my CFS/M.E. as a condition which
    centred around my emotional experience. However, I did not have a
    clear understanding of how it operated or what I could do about it.
    Leisa’s approach to revealing the Mickel Model helped me to pick it up
    very quickly and then to start putting it into practice. Leisa’s
    explanations, brought to life through her own experiences, resonated
    so well with my own. I drew great confidence from this that I was on
    the right track.

    Through only three telephone sessions, Leisa supported me to develop
    my understanding and application of the model, to my own individual
    experiences. I practiced them diligently and the results were just
    amazing.  I developed the ability to recognise what was happening my
    body and to respond to this in new ways; allowing me to reduce and
    remove symptoms. When I encountered challenges or things that did not
    make sense, Leisa was there for me. She expertly helped me to look at
    my experiences and again through expertly sharing just the right
    amount of her own experiences, in just the right way, she supported me
    to keep going, trust in the process and keep on tweaking it until it
    fit just right.

    I feel hugely grateful to Leisa, and to Dr Mickel for developing the
    model. I have a renewed vigour for life, born in the confidence that I
    can be in control of my symptoms. Mickel Therapy makes total sense
    when I consider CFS/M.E. and it’s the only model I have encountered
    which does that. I cannot recommend Mickel Therapy and Leisa Zakeri as
    a Practitioner highly enough, to anyone with any kind of chronic,
    fluctuating symptoms, who has just an inkling that it might possibly
    just have some kind of emotional basis, or who is just willing to give
    any approach a try.

    My most startling and rewarding experience of this took place on the
    island of Mull.

    I was going to go for a walk in nature and was driving along looking
    for the car park. I was feeling quite tired after a poor night’s sleep
    and as I drove I started to doubt my ability to complete the walk.
    Images of struggling along the walk, every step being painful, started
    to come to mind. I didn’t want that kind of experience, only to have
    to turn around and come back, feeling like a failure. So I ended up
    automatically just driving on past the car park. Within 10 minutes I
    was starting to feel even more tired. After another 5 minutes my eyes
    felt heavy and dry, I was developing painful hands and wrists and my
    whole body was feeling leaden. I didn’t think I was safe to drive
    anymore, but I was on a very narrow road with nowhere to stop. After
    another 5 minutes that felt like an hour, I finally found a layby and
    pulled in.  I dragged my now aching, stiff body into the back to lie
    down. I was in agony and it just kept getting worse. Every day I had
    been scoring my level of symptoms, between 0 and 10 (with, for
    context, a 9 being the worst I had ever experienced, back in the early
    days, 27 years ago). Most days started at a 3 and rose to a 5 at some
    point. On some days that would get up to a 6. I had not experienced a
    7 or more for quite some time.  In this moment I scored my symptoms at
    an 8. I was becoming really stiff.  Everything hurt. Badly. In the
    past this would have triggered me into self-pity. Woe is me, who feels
    all this pain and cannot go on a simple walk. But this time, with my
    Mickel model practices in hand, it was different. “Okay”, I said to my
    body. “What have I missed?” “What happened that would have led to an
    emotional experience, had I not suppressed it?” “Well, it’s obvious
    isn’t it really? I didn’t go on the walk I had intended to, which
    means that would have triggered feeling disappointed and frustrated
    that I couldn’t do what I wanted to and had felt excited about doing.
    Then what? Well, I would expect those feelings to persist or even
    increase if I didn’t then decide to go do something else similarly
    exciting. Which I didn’t. My body is also probably starting to feel
    bored now, which lying down here is not helping.”  “So what would the
    right behavioural response be?” I looked out of the window at the
    heather strewn slope of the hill I had wanted to walk up.   It looked
    beautiful and inviting. I look down at my little backpack, with my
    water, banana, waterproof and trekking poles. “Oh … ” I said to my
    body “You still want me to go on the walk … no matter how it turns
    out …” “But I’m in agony and can hardly move” “But that’s not real
    fatigue is it?” “It’s only because I’ve suppressed feeling
    disappointed and frustrated and bored”. “Right then … agony or not
    … here I go!”  And I lept up, in agony, grabbed my backpack and
    jumped out of the car … in agony. Extended my trekking poles and
    took off up the hill. In agony. With every few paces my feelings were
    changing. The pain and stiffness slowly, slowly started to leave. I
    was becoming breathless. I was outside … walking … in the heather
    … up the hill.  The pain and stiffness kept on flowing away, to be
    replaced with excitement and joy. I smiled, I laughed. I actually
    jumped for joy. I hiked on, harder, up a steep slope. I was panting
    and my legs starting to ache a bit … but differently … a different
    kind of ache … a good one. I knew then that I had cracked it. That I
    could recognise CFS/M.E. symptoms as separate and different from other
    kinds of muscle fatigue and pain. That, by paying attention to my
    body, asking the right questions, exploring the right things, and
    making the right behavioural decisions, that I could shed my symptoms
    and do the very things I wanted to do. I hiked on. Eventually, utterly
    elated and all the very best kinds of tired, I reached the top of the
    hill.  I briefly saw two Sea Eagles, just as I had hoped, and was
    overjoyed. I ate my lunch, recovered my legs, and came on back down
    the hill. A different person.  One who had confidence to overcome this
    CFS/M.E. and who knew he was going to keep on getting better.



    I highly recommend Mickel Therapy for persons who experience anxiety, fatigue and nausea. I personally couldn’t handle this constant feeling of anxiousness that I was experiencing, it had grown a lot in the last 12 months and it caused me to have trouble sleeping and my body would react through both nausea and stomach pains.

    I found out about Mickel Therapy from a friend and she gave me Fiona Watson’s number. I was initially nervous, but knew I needed to do something and so gave her a ring one day. With the support of my mum beside me, at the initial consultation, I explained the problems I’d been experiencing. Fiona was very encouraging to me and told me that we would take control of these symptoms and I would be feeling great again in a matter of sessions.

    I had my first appointment a few weeks later. Fiona equipped me with the skills and tools I needed to deal with anxiety, to find a balance in my life and sometimes just to be able to say no. I felt like I had learnt so much in the first session alone and the worksheets that I filled out each night were so helpful. I had a total of 5 sessions over a couple of months. Of course I had set backs but Fiona helped me get back on track.

    A few months later and I’m feeling so good. Every now and again I experience anxiety but that is normal and I know how to fix it. I haven’t had serious nausea and pains in about 5 months and now I sleep like a baby! I highly recommend Mickel Therapy to all. Thanks Fiona!

    August 2018


    I had been suffering from anxiety issues since I was a small child, and had been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder in my twenties. I had three separate courses of CBT over the years, each typically lasting around 8-10 sessions. I also had person centered psychotherapy with more than one practitioner. And for the last ten years I have taken various sorts of SSRI medication to help with the anxiety. It came to a head at the end of last year when I became completely burned out and was unable to sleep which compounded the anxious feelings.

    I had heard of Mickel Therapy over 10 years ago as a relative had CFS and had found Mickel therapy extremely useful. However, I was sceptical about how useful I would find it for anxiety. A friend recommended I try it and put me in touch with Fiona Watson. I felt better after just a few sessions and by the sixth and final session I felt more in control of my anxiety and my life in general.

    Mickel is unlike any other therapy I have tried since it focuses on our emotions rather than thoughts and I always struggled in CBT to out-think how I was feeling. It also equipped me to develop coping strategies which I found empowering. I would love to say that I am anxiety free now, I still suffer with anxious thoughts from time to time but it is not dominating my life in the way it used to and I have been able to stop taking medication now which I thought I would be on indefinitely. I would thoroughly recommend Mickel to anyone suffering from anxiety as it has transformed how I think about life. Fiona was the right person for me to have as a therapist as our sessions were structured and practical. I always looked forward to them and felt better afterwards. Thank you Fiona.
    JULY 2018

  • RECOVERY FROM CFS….”I feel more like myself than I ever have before!”

    When I was 16 I got Glandular Fever and never recovered, and got diagnosed with CFS. Every day I struggled with low energy, muscle fatigue and aches, constant neck and shoulder pain, joint pain, skin problems, gut problems, sleep problems, worsened anxiety, low mood and self- esteem issues. I spent most of my week at home, or in bed, unable to work and sometimes my symptoms would worsen, with even the smallest amounts of activity. The doctors couldn’t offer anything to help and I tried so many other alternative approaches to getting better, but also I was determined not to give up and let the illness take over my life, like I felt it had done.

    An old friend mentioned Mickel Therapy to me. She had recovered from ME/CFS thanks to it. I was skeptical to begin with, as I had tried so many other treatments over the last 4 years since getting diagnosed with CFS and even prior to that. I thought I may as well give it a go, so I read more information on the therapy and decided to get in touch with Fiona Watson. Fiona responded straight away and within a week, I had my first Mickel session. Fiona was very friendly and helpful on our initial phone call, which meant, that despite any anxiety I had, she put me at ease and I felt excited to start the therapy.

    Straight after my first session I felt and immediate difference, like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. Fiona is very thorough, encouraging and supportive during the sessions. Throughout the whole course of my treatment, she was only a just a text or an email away if I needed help or had any questions. I had 4 Mickel Therapy sessions over a 7 week duration in total. I felt a massive improvement just in the first week alone, and those close to me even commented on this. This improvement continued to progress and now I am back to full health, not having any of the symptoms I had before, that were holding me back from living my life.

    I now have lots of energy, which means I’m capable of leading a normal life again, which is something amazing to me, as I thought it would be impossible to get that back. But I am not just back to normal life…Mickel Therapy has taught me tools and keys to help me live a more full life and be able to do things any other person does. I also have the time and energy for the things I love to do! I feel more like myself than I have ever before and I feel so happy, confident and well within myself, to do things I was able to do before CFS and more! Almost 4 months since my last session, I’m now back to work, have a great social life again, able to walk and exercise without feeling abnormally exerted or needing to spend a day/week in bed. When I have long days of activity now, I no longer struggle with feeling heavy, weak, in pain, fatigued, unable to go on any longer.

    I am so grateful to Mickel Therapy. It has been a game changer to finally, properly get well. I’m also beyond thankful to Fiona for all her help. She is such a warm person and has been so wonderful and kind throughout this whole journey of recovery.
    Portsmouth, UK
    July 2018