The What, How, Why, Who and Where of The Chrysalis Effect
What is it?
The Chrysalis Effect is the leading provider of online and immediately accessible recovery focused pathway for those suffering with the symptoms of fatigue related illness and their families. These include ME, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. It is also an ILM and FHT Accredited Training Provider for practitioners and therapists treating patients and clients. It has created a warm, positive and caring community dedicated to education and action transforming recovery outcomes worldwide.
How it began
The Chrysalis Effect started life as a small, practical and inspirational workshop called 'Get Your Life Back' for those suffering with M.E. and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Why it began
The catalyst for running a recovery workshop came from a truly shocking and tragic event. A young woman with M.E. had taken her own life. She had suffered for 17 years and literally could not face another day with her illness. What was even more shocking was that her mother had been arrested for assisting the suicide.
Reading her story, her list of symptoms and the downward spiral of a healthy, young and active person to the point where she did not want to live any more.
Elaine Wilkins founder says, "I understood from my own 6 years struggling with M.E. the desperation that led to that tragic suicide, I had to do something. I teamed up to run a workshop with a friend who had recovered after losing her teenage years to M.E. We printed some flyers and set up a little website."
"That first workshop never took place because something I hadn't bargained for happened. Emails began to arrive from people all over the world asking for help."
"Repeatedly, they said the same things. They wanted to come and learn but lived too far away, or in many cases were just too unwell to get to a workshop. What I also discovered was the sheer number of people who had tried so many ad hoc treatments that they lost faith or belief in ever recovering, convinced that recovery is totally dependent on a medical breakthrough. And so they wait and wait. Meanwhile their health, wellbeing and quality of life deteriorates."
"It was only then that I realised the true scale of the suffering. There was an estimated 17 million people globally suffering, many of whom were trapped in their homes, bed-bound and desperate or resigned to a limited life managing pain and exhaustion."
"I understood why that happened, I had lived it. But clearly that needed to change. Clearly an individual workshop was not the answer if recovery was to be accessible to all."
This posed a question that changed everything.
The How Bit: How can people that need recovery focused information and the support access they need regardless of where they live?
It was clear there were 4 things urgently needed:
Recovered Role Models
To change the mindset and belief and show people - through proof - that recovery is both possible and proven. It was obvious people needed access to Recovered Role Models to inspire and mentor them.
Immediately Accessible Support
To provide step-by-step cohesive honest information, reassurance and education about what has caused this health crisis - both for those in recovery and their family - regardless of where the lived. It was vital to offer a proven evidenced supported and immediately accessible recovery pathway that works.
Trained Accredited Specialists
To transform the treatment approach away from ad hoc treatment of symptoms. What was needed was a well informed integrated approach. Training accredited health professionals who specialise in accessing the cause of a person's health crash and then facilitating their recovery was a vital step.
Remove the Isolation of Recovery
By creating a positive community so those on the recovery journey can meet and know fully recovered peers who inspire and encourage people to navigate the ups and downs of their recovery journey. This would stop sufferers getting stuck in or defined by an illness.
The Chrysalis Effect Supported Recovery Programme was born.
The only way to achieve these vital aims was to deliver an online solution. However, it had to be technology with the personal touch. It was an immense challenge learning new skills, sourcing new technology and having the courage to finance and invest in the mentoring required to create and deliver what was needed - an online multi-media recovery and training platform.
There were many challenges but in February 2010 the programme went live and our very first client registered.
In short, there was a great need to take these illnesses out of the darkness to shine a light on the fact people do not have to accept the negative and limiting messages of 'managing' or 'living with' a long term and chronic condition.