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To ask for your experiences of CBT please?

(43 Posts)
anitagreen Fri 15-Mar-19 16:55:00

I've been waiting 6 months for this CBT, had my first session today and I'm so underwhelmed it is annoying me.
I honestly thought this would be amazing for my anxiety and worrying etc, but all we did today was read two pages of a booklet I have read cover to cover numerous times and taught myself stuff on my own like they said to do whilst I wait,
We didn't touch on none of my past at all, or what my fears are etc it was just outlining what cbt was and doing the book I've already done? Does it get better than this in the next sessions?. Thank You x

KurriKurri Fri 15-Mar-19 17:06:25

I've done a course of CBT in a group session - how many sessions are you booked to have ? I'd give it a fair chance, today may have just been a kind of introduction.
Having said that - it's not for everyone, my son has had it one to one - and he found it very helpful. I found it less so, but there were some useful things that I still use to help me. Hopefully you'll get some new material to work on and talk about in future sessions that you might find more helpful.

I think what you say about not going into your past or your particular feasr etc. is pretty typical - it's not really about specific problems so much as how to deal with those fears and anxieties when they arise.

In general I'd say try to stick with it - you may find it useful and if you don't then it won;t have done you any harm. But if you really feel it is no use after a few sessions talk to your counsellor and say you don't think it is for you - they may be able to support you in getting something more appropriate for your needs.
Good luck.

badlydrawnperson Fri 15-Mar-19 17:08:52

It was great, we had some classroom stuff, then went out on the bikes for an hour.

PolPotNoodle Fri 15-Mar-19 17:08:54

I had CBT and it changed me as a person.

It isn't counselling so it won't discuss your past in any real detail, and if you try and steer sessions that way they will stop you.

From my experience it took a few sessions before it started becoming useful which makes sense; they dont know who you are or what your issue is until they see you a few times and establish a pattern from your questionnaires.

If after a few sessions you are still 'underwhelmed' then request a change.

MeredithGrey1 Fri 15-Mar-19 17:10:26

Is this an NHS cbt thing? I’ve never found that useful, it’s too generic and every session we’d just go through a workbook, with information that I already knew. The exercises in the workbook didn’t really fit my situation but still it was never deviated from.
Having said that, cbt can be incredibly useful for some people, and is one of the most effective treatments. I just found the nhs workbook approach completely lacking.

M3lon Fri 15-Mar-19 17:11:23

My experience is shite, mediocre, shite, life changing.

It really helps to find the right person for you.

Did you tell the therapist you had already worked through that leaflet?

I agree with others, give it at least another two sessions then ask to be referred onwards if not improving.

nicenewdusters Fri 15-Mar-19 17:12:50

The first session is often a form filling and fact finding exercise. I'm surprised you weren't filling in forms to rate your anxiety etc. Also looking at and agreeing goals? It's good to have an idea what form the therapy will take, but reading a booklet sounds a bit lame for a first session.

CBT is very much a here and now therapy, looking at what's happening for you today as regards your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It's looking at your cognitions, your thoughts, and often specifically your automatic negative thoughts. It doesn't delve into your past, like for example a therapist working in the psychodynamic model. It can be touched upon, but it's not the focus of the therapy.

The focus is very much goal driven, the therapist is directive, immediate and challenging, and there should be homework for you to do outside of session. CBT is often used in the treatment of depression and anxiety, it's also good for phobias.

The NHS loves CBT because it's outcomes are very measurable, it can produce verifiable results quite quickly, and can get people back on their feet quicker than other therapies. It does require real engagement from the client.

The downsides are that although it can give you tools for life, it does not address the underlying issues that brought you to it in the first place. For this reason there can be quite a high relapse rate. Depending on your presenting issue and your financial circumstances, it can be great to have CBT to put you back on track, so to speak. But if you could then follow it up with some therapy where the therapist works integratively, ie using many modalities including person-centred, psychodynamic and CBT, that could be really helpful.

Do you know what your therapists qualifications are?

drivingmisspotty Fri 15-Mar-19 17:13:22

Did you tell them you have read the book from cover to cover and have been using some of the techniques already? They might assume that even though they send the booklet nobody really reads it until the sessions. If you explain you have already done a lot of ground work they might get straight into helping with any sticking points in applying the technique.

I agree with a PP though, it is more about applying the techniques than talking about your fears and your past. But if the latter is what you are after explain that too and they might be able to provide that support too.

Sparklesocks Fri 15-Mar-19 17:14:51

My CBT didn’t really dwell on my past or how I started getting into those negative patterns, it was more about ‘ok you think like this when this happens, let’s try and help you break out of that pattern - or give you strategies to cope better’. It was very systematic -
why do you think this? Because Stuff.
What do you think will happen if this happens? This.
Ok, if This did happen. What is the worst that would happen?
I suppose That.
And would That be so bad?
Etc etc

I found it very useful, I hope your sessions get better.

Disfordarkchocolate Fri 15-Mar-19 17:16:10

Just done 6 weeks by telephone. Hardly any progress, severe depression and anxiety when I started and when I finished. A lot of time looking at the theory behind CBT and very little time doing anything that helped. Waiting for 1:1 high-intensity therapy which will be for between 10 and 16 weeks. I felt like the first lot of CBT would have been far more useful if we had a 1-hour session discussing why I was there to start with.

MabelBee Fri 15-Mar-19 17:16:36

I found it hugely useful. I liked that it didn't require me to discuss or dissect my situation or past but was just a practical approach to improving my mental health and immediate state of mind. I had severe anxiety and stress related physical symptoms which completely disappeared over the 16 weeks. At the end of it I was in a better place to consider counselling, which I am more afraid of and haven't been brave enough to start. But I am generally more happy now anyway.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 15-Mar-19 17:18:58

DH had it and it was amazing for him, for a while, then he let some of the techniques slip. It absolutely isn't counselling though - it won't touch on your past at all. It aims to give you tools to cope with your present. Once that's under control, counselling is what you need to 'fix' any underlying issues.

Thereshegoesagain Fri 15-Mar-19 17:19:00

My DD had CBT and it worked brilliantly for her and as I was in the room, I learned lots about myself and have made very positive changes to my life as a result.

MabelBee Fri 15-Mar-19 17:19:25

Mine was face to face and just me, not a group or telephone session.

PositiveVibez Fri 15-Mar-19 17:19:47

I had it after a car accident and I was too scared to drive again.

I thought it was absolutely shit and I just ended up having some driving lessons with my old instructor.

I'm glad it was through the perpetrators insurance company because if I'd have paid for it myself, I would have been pretty pissed off.

Disfordarkchocolate Fri 15-Mar-19 17:21:45

That's interesting MabelBee because I was so baffled about why I got so unwell I feel like I really need some understanding of why so that I don't end up in the same place. Agoraphobia and now GAD with panic attacks are very proving hard to cope with.

weleasewoderick22 Fri 15-Mar-19 17:29:34

Did nothing for me. I spent the first half of the session having a moan, the therapist didn't stop me, and the second half giving me homework. I stuck it for 4 sessions and gave up. Couldn't see the point of it.

MamaLovesMango Fri 15-Mar-19 17:35:42

They won’t talk about your past necessarily OP. Not in great detail as you would with a counsellor or a psychotherapist. It’s about giveing you the tools to create coping mechanisms for yourself going forward and chnaging the way you think and react. I found it takes a lot of practice and perseverance but when you’ve got the hang of it and you’re using the tools without much thought, it’s life changing. I found it much easier to be open to it whilst taking medication too.

anitagreen Fri 15-Mar-19 17:36:49

Thanks everyone so mixed reviews then? I wasn't expecting a miracle approach as such but I think maybe I was? I just didn't expect to do the same stuff I've already learnt my anxiety is improving by the stuff I'm doing already and changes I have made, I just thought it would be so good but I'm just shocked it's quite crap I think because I've waited so long for it and been pining for it now it's here it's like Meh.
even when the therapist was talking to me about the booklet and I told her stuff I knew she didn't seem all that fussed I'd done all this stuff, I don't know will give it another go next week and see.

Folf Fri 15-Mar-19 17:43:28

TBH, having had an anxiety disorder for years, I finally did a course of CBT.

It had some small use in helping me break down the reason for some of my anxiety and 'unhelpful' thinking processes.... but, it didnt teach me anything about anxiety or how it works, it didnt teach me anything about how to handle it.

The biggest failure though? When she tried to make me unpick some very deeply ingrained issues I have around self esteem.. she didnt seem to understand that just asking me to 'write down why that belief about yourself might not be true' wouldn't work as much of my anxiety centers around how people perceive me and years of being made to feel lazy, useless and not good enough.

I KNOW its not true, I can tell you all the reasons its not true.. but believing them? Thats the issue.

So I stopped going. I clearly need more indepth therapy to pick apart that side of my anxiety.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Fri 15-Mar-19 17:43:53

When I had Cbt it didn’t focus on the past or things that had made me stressed (reason for cbt) but instead on how to deal with the feeling around stressed and how to manage it. I would say two main things for me:

1) you have to 100% committed to it. Practise every day and go back to practice when you think you’ve cracked it!
2) don’t expect it to be a magic fix. Either over night or right for you. Cbt doesn’t work over night (see point number 1!) it also isn’t right for everyone but before you sack it off you need to give it a good go just incase it is right for you.

Wishing you lots of luck with with it!

Lemonsquinky Fri 15-Mar-19 17:45:06

I found it difficult and challenging. But it's one of the best things I've ever done. I had one to one with the therapist. It has really helped my anxiety and c-ptsd. It gave me the tools to do cbt independently. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for better mental health.

Folf Fri 15-Mar-19 17:47:42

sorry
*but it didnt teach me anything about anxiety, or how it works, that I didnt already know from my own research and coping with it over the last 20 years.

HarrysOwl Fri 15-Mar-19 17:49:17

I was convinced it wouldn't help me.

I can't stress just how much of a waste of time I thought it'd be. I met my CBT therapist and I really disliked her. Thought great, a shit therapist with a shit therapy.

But I knew something had to change; my symptoms were getting severe.

Week 1 was shit. Week 2 was awful. Week 3 I didn't want to go back. Week 4 I wanted to slap the therapist for being so obvious and patronising. Week 5 I was exhausted
then week 6, something clicked. I'd been doing all the 'stupid' homework, wholeheartedly, even though I 'knew' it wouldn't work.

In isolation the homework part (writing down each episode of panic, listing my anxieties, getting into the details of my thoughts) didn't help. BUT accumulatively I could see patterns. I was so happy to finally understand the bewildering negativity.

Patterns I was stuck in. Patterns of thought I could understand, and then begin to unpick and challenge.

Essentially, CBT will help if you put the effort in. The more self aware and honest you are about your thoughts and behaviour, the more likely it is to help.

It's not a cure-all, but I'm amazed how I'm improving, for my two cents' worth.

AnnaMagnani Fri 15-Mar-19 17:52:39

My experience of CBT was hard work but life-changing. And you have to practice it or you slip back into bad habits.

It isn't really about your past, although bits might come up, it is much more focussed on the here and now and how you might have negative thoughts and emotions completely unnecessarily.

I discovered I had a more or less constant running commentary of negative self-talk. While I have done some other counselling work about my past and why that might be, just discovering I was constantly telling myself I was shit was a bit of a light bulb and didn't really need deep analysis - I could then check-in on myself and stop it smile

Even doing on-line sessions I find helpful when I'm slipping a bit.

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