This presentation on taking control I delivered at the UK Transverse Myelitis Society’s conference in 2011. The audience was people living with Transverse Myelitis* (TM), an auto-immune neurological condition whose onset can be quick, the impact life changing and many times the cause is unknown. So the aim of the presentation was to give people some ways of thinking and tools to help them take or maintain control over themselves and their lives so they could live well within the realities of their condition.

To prepare for this presentation, I spoke to several people with TM about how they learned to live with the condition and its impact. I chose three themes in what they said and linked them with models people could immediately start applying in their lives.

– the cycle of change and acceptance**

– how to identify what is in one’s control and what is not so one doesn’t waste energy***

– how to set achievable goals

These are the skills required for taking control

And these taking control skills apply to anyone, not just people living with long-term medical conditions. So have a look and listen. You might want a cup of tea, hot chocolate or something else to hand as the presentation is 25 minutes. Or you may want to watch some of the presentation, take a break and come back to it.

Enjoy and thanks for reading, watching and listening,


P.S. My thinking regarding acceptance of a condition has shifted since I delivered this presentation. But that is for a future blog post.

© Copyright Barbara Babcock 2013


* For more information about Transverse Myelitis, go to

** The ‘change curve’ which I refer to in the presentation is based on the work of Kubler-Ross, On Death & Dying.

*** This section of the presentation is based on Stephen Covey’s spheres of direct control, influence and concern, which is from his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I like this book as it is like a guide to key life skills.

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