What CBT Did For Me

For the past couple of years, I've been looking for help, I didn't really seem to find anything that worked for me. I've always wanted to try and do it by myself, a lot of what I wanted to work on needed to be done by me. I spent a countless number of hours researching tips and people's advice and I found relaxation techniques that work, especially apps like Headspace really helped me a lot. But I needed more, I'd been on a waiting list for therapy for a while and after trying counselling at University I felt lost. I don't know what it was for me but it didn't help me feel any better, there will be a separate post on counselling one day but for me, it wasn't what I needed, I think it hindered me rather than helped me. 

So, after months of being on a waiting list, I was able to start Low CBT. I was allowed 6 sessions focused on managing anxiety and low mood. For me this seemed like the perfect amount, I had a session roughly ever 1-2 weeks so it allowed me to carry on with my day to day life without being tied down to it constantly. The best thing for me was that it was done through telephone conversations, it meant I could feel relaxed about this. With the idea of sitting in a room with someone talking about it made me feel more anxious I was happy to do it through telephone conversations. 

The first session felt quite daunting, as it was a form of Low CBT it meant that it would be focused a lot on thinking and how I process and understand my thoughts and situations. We started off doing a few questionnaires on anxiety and low mood so my score could be tracked throughout, then we had a conversation about what I wanted to achieve and what I could handle. I was scared it would all be intense, to begin with, and I'd struggle to feel like I was in control, but I felt like it was all up to me and I loved being able to have control of my anxiety for once. 

I received a few booklets on relaxation and challenging negative thoughts, I am a big one for not relaxing. I find it hard to just sit back and not feel like there are a thousand things that could be done. The booklet gave me a lot of tips on calming down and the best thing is that none of it would take out a lot of my time. It meant that I could make time each day to relax and give myself that needed break. 

After the first sessions, I began to understand what I had achieved and it made me feel quite proud, I stopped myself from having a panic attack and during a very rough time in my re-sit exam I managed to stay calm and battle the thoughts I'd had for the past week. I noticed myself changing and taking a new insight into situations. And it was a real emotional moment for me to see this change. 

The best thing that happened was that I noticed a real change in myself, it's great to know what to do and how to challenge any thoughts. I wouldn't hold my hands up and say I'm completely fine afterwards but I've definitely seen a development and it\s from now onwards for me to change that and really make a difference. 

I'm glad I finally had my CBT, I noticed a real difference in myself and it was great to see this. I actually finished my CBT a few sessions early as I no longer felt a need for it. I'd learnt what I needed to know and it was now up to me to make a change and maintain what I had learnt. 

Let me know if you've ever done CBT or would be interested in my experience with counselling, I can assure you they were very different experiences and different approaches. 

Until next time, Chloe!

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