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Therapeutic support for increasing number of Long COVID-sufferers


Wednesday September 22, 2021


Therapeutic support for increasing number of Long COVID-sufferers

As research shows more than two million people in England are thought to have had one or more COVID-19 symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks, according to one of the largest studies* of the virus funded by the UK Government, two leaders in the fields of psychology and hypnotherapy believe their latest book could be a source of essential support for Long COVID-sufferers. 

·       Highly respected psychologist Dr Sue Peacock and world-renowned hypnotherapist Sheila Granger collaborate on self-help guide for Long COVID sufferers

·       Book hits ‘Amazon Bestseller' Number 1 slot within first 24 hours of going live

·       Psychological strategies based on work with clients with Long COVID and other long-term conditions like ME, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, helps sufferers regain control of their lives

·       People Sue has helped via her work at her well-regarded independent pain psychology practice give their own insights into how strategies like those outlined in the book helped them fight their way back from life-shattering illness

·       Sheila also draws on her own, personal experience of coping with degenerative illness myasthenia gravis.

Long COVID or post-COVID syndrome has now been officially recognised and is defined as having symptoms that linger for 12 weeks or more. This often debilitating condition is leaving people with long-term symptoms including extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, ‘brain fog', insomnia, palpitations and dizziness. But now Dr Sue Peacock and Sheila Granger have launched a book aimed at helping people who find themselves affected by the debilitating aftermath of a COVID-19 infection, by offering them a pragmatic guide to coping, physically and mentally.

Dr Sue Peacock, a consultant health psychologist, based in Milton Keynes, has joined forces with internationally renowned clinical hypnotherapist Sheila Granger, who’s based in East Yorkshire, to co-publish their book, Coping with Long COVID and other long-term health conditions, which offers readers practical and psychological strategies for self-help.

And it's achieved fantastic success so far, hitting the ‘Amazon Bestseller' Number 1 slot in the Physical Impairments category on Saturday, within 24 hours of going on sale.

Dr Peacock said: "Hearing a growing number of people recount their Long COVID stories is troubling for us as therapists. This is a new wave of chronic illness – a syndrome made up of a wide range of symptoms, mental and physical, some of which it is hard for people to pinpoint or explain clearly.

"It reminds us of clients who have come to our respective clinics for help in living with the day-to-day impact of other debilitating conditions. We've seen that these people could be helped by psychological therapies that equipped them with their own self-care toolbox – ways to manage their pain, fear or fatigue in a very individual way. And so, we decided to write this book as a way to reach out to them and a new Long COVID generation because, while they may not share the same symptoms or the same diagnosis, they all had the same longing to be back in control of their lives."

Sheila Granger said: "In our respective fields, we focus on what someone can do, not what they can’t. We set about challenging and changing the language being used in someone’s head so that they can create a positive mindset.

"The experience of COVID is clearly different to that of many other illnesses. Feelings of trauma, guilt, anger and other negative states are common in a pandemic and they need careful unpacking. But, whatever has caused a chronic illness, and particularly a complex syndrome like Long COVID, the key to managing it is to learn to be kind to ourselves."

Both authors have contributed a wealth of insights to the book, which is available to buy on Amazon, from their prospective areas of professional expertise and experience. Sue has provided a range of psychological and practical insights and techniques to help readers better understand what they are experiencing and then form action plans to mitigate those symptoms. Sheila has contributed a number of practical, hypnotherapy-based solutions aimed at helping readers to harness the immeasurable power of their minds to transform negatives into positives by re-booting their subconscious thought patterns.

The book is packed with advice, techniques and practical exercises that both practitioners have used successfully with clients who suffer from complaints such as Long COVID, chronic pain, ME or chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sheila’s personal battle

While, professionally, Sue and Sheila had a whole list of motivations for compiling their book – the principal one being to offer hope and alternative options for anyone suffering from long COVID and other health conditions with similar causes and symptoms – for Sheila it was also very personal, because she faces her own daily battle with the incurable auto-immune condition myasthenia gravis. The hugely fatiguing and debilitating condition has forced her to call on every ounce of her personal reserves, as well as the mindset training she has created to help others over the years.

Sheila explained: "I was diagnosed at Christmas 2017, after experiencing the kind of ‘flare’ which has now become a regular occurrence and landed me in hospital on multiple occasions.

“I know from my own work with people that auto-immune-related conditions are often dismissed initially, and here I was, facing the exact same problem I’d supported others with in the past. After about a year of suffering from symptoms including dizziness, extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, double vision, a droopy face and slurred speech, I was referred to a neurologist who told me I had myasthenia gravis.

“I’ve made multiple trips to the hospital with different symptoms since then, and had a different experience almost every time I go. I imagine this will be the same for people with Long COVID, because it’s a fairly new thing that not much is known about, as I know it is with conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

“I’ve had some low points along the way, which have given me a real, first-hand understanding of the kinds of things my clients experience as a result of Long COVID and other chronic conditions, and I try to take heart from the fact that, if nothing else, that will make me a more empathetic trainer and practitioner.

“My low points have included being admitted to intensive care and neurology wards for days on end, barely able to walk, see or swallow, and being told that I face a long recuperation process to get back to some kind of normality. I know that it will keep showing up, over time, and that the ultimate risk is that it will affect the muscles I use to breathe. Facing these risks in a time of pandemic, when I know that catching the coronavirus would be so much more serious for me, adds a further dimension, as I know it will for many readers of our book.

“So, in light of all that, what tools do I use to try to get through it? The most powerful one for me is positive self-talk. Of course, medication has also played a part in getting me back on my feet, but I’m convinced it's my strength of mind which has made the difference for me. That’s why readers will find this book packed with techniques and exercises to help them tap into the power of their own subconscious mind in the same way.

“Our minds are capable of much more than we give them credit for, we just have to believe it. Sadly, none of us can wave a magic wand and make our illnesses go away – the nature of chronic issues is that they’re complex and hard to treat – but we can make up our minds to take them on, carry them with us, and find ways of living alongside our new ‘companions’.

“There’s a reason I called my business ‘Believe, by Sheila Granger’. Because I really do believe, more so now than ever, that it is all in our minds and we can move mountains by recognising and harnessing that.”

For further details, or to arrange media interviews, contact Tracy Fletcher at By Tracy Fletcher Limited PR via or 07983 633385.

Photos of the book and the author are available on request.

Book available on Amazon at:


Notes to editors

The Long COVID study referenced is based on self-reported data from 508,707 adults aged 18 and above who took part in REACT-2 rounds 3 to 5 carried out between September 2020 and February 2021. 

Around a fifth of those surveyed reported having had a COVID-19 symptom previously, with over a third reporting persistent symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks. Around a tenth of those with symptoms said they lasted at least 12 weeks and were severe.

The findings suggest prevalence of persistent symptoms, or long COVID, increases with age, with a 3.5 per cent increase in likelihood in each decade of life. It shows long COVID is higher among women, people who are overweight or obese, who smoke, live in deprived areas, or had been admitted to hospital. Persistent COVID-19 symptoms were lower in people of Asian ethnicity. 


About the authors

Dr Sue Peacock is a Consultant Health Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. She is an Associate Fellow of The British Psychological Society, a Registered Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist, an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) practitioner, and holds diplomas in neuro-linguistic programming and life coaching. She has a PhD in pain psychology, and an extensive track record of supporting clients presenting with chronic pain, sleep disorders, physical health problems, dental and medical phobias, anxiety and clinical depression, spanning over 20 years. More recently, she has been working with, and learning from, her clients with Long COVID, and it is based on those experiences and observations – as well as her own professional research – that she has contributed to this book.

Sue has won accolades including the Top Doctors Award for Psychology, and the pioneering nature of her sleeping with chronic pain programme was acknowledged with a research grant from NHS Health Innovations. She trains psychologists and hypnotherapy practitioners around the world and is an external examiner for the Doctorate in Health Psychology and a British Psychological Society-approved supervisor. In addition, Sue runs her own thriving, independent practice, providing specialist psychological therapy to clients and training programmes for health professionals. Her focus is on improving people's ability to manage their health conditions and adjust to their different circumstances, and the challenges they face.

Sue is already a published author and has been featured in academia and by the media for her work. She adopts an empathetic, practical manner with clients, and recognises the need to support them to move forward on a practical level. Sue also has experience of working in the NHS, independent practice and the voluntary sector. You can find out more about Dr Sue Peacock and her work on her website, 

Sheila Granger is an internationally renowned clinical hypnotherapist. She has trained more than 2,500 practitioners worldwide in her ground-breaking methods through her successful business, Believe, by Sheila Granger. Through this and her own practice, she has helped to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people, in countries ranging from the UK to Holland, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States. Sheila regularly tours the world, contributing ideas to the development of hypnotherapy practice, and has won awards for her work including, most recently, ‘Hypnotherapist of the Year' from the International Association of Counselors and Therapists, for her ‘outstanding support and dedication to the hypnosis community'.

She is perhaps best known for her Virtual Gastric Band therapy (the subject of her book, No More Diets! Believe in a Healthier, Better You, from 2019). Her second book, called How to Build a Hypnotherapy Business: An Insider's Guide to Growing Your Practice, was published in 2020, aimed at sharing her insights into building a successful hypnotherapy business, in support of her mission of helping to grow the number of practitioners worldwide and so making this powerful and regenerative alternative therapy more mainstream.

In 2021, Sheila's contribution to the industry, and the world of business, was recognised by her winning the national Self-Employed/Sole Trader of the Year accolade in the annual Federation of Small Business Awards.

More details about Sheila's work and a range of additional, free resources, are available from her website