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Can anyone tell me a bit about CBT please?

(14 Posts)
bubblesincoffee Mon 11-Jul-11 11:41:37

I have been referred to talking therapies because the GP thinks I would benefit from CBT. I have a lot of anxiety and get panic attacks related to my dh's health. Odd, I know!

I was referred about a year ago, but they phoned me and asked what my problem was, and the lady on the phone was not at all understanding and was quite horrible, so when they called again to give me an appointment, I said I didn't need it anymore. But I probably do, it's not fun being an emotional mess so I want to try again, if I come up on the waiting list sometime soon!

So, what happens at CBT, what do they do and what sort of things will they want me to talk about? Do they expect me to do lots of talking, or is it all about teaching me how not to freak out with panic attacks?


bubaluchy Mon 11-Jul-11 11:57:43


1. Contrary to popular belief this type of counselling deals with present day to day issues, it does not begin with telling the therapist about your childhood.

2. one of the main things you will hear is 'what evidence do you have to proove that if you... x, y, z (the result would be x,y,z)

3 it re- programmes your response to things, breaking negative thought patterns which can undermine your sense of self worth.

4. I learned assertiveness

5.the importance of strong boundaries

6. to not base my self worth upon external circumstances causing my confidence to fluctuate

7. I learnt methods to over come my binge eating disorder + always coming across employers who terrified me!

Good luck it will change your life! smile

bubblesincoffee Mon 11-Jul-11 12:21:59

Thanks for the reply. smile Life changing sounds good!

I think 1-3 on your list will definately help me, especially breaking the negative thought patterns. I'm not sure I need help with the other things though.

Interesting to hear you experience though, thanks again. How many sessions do people generally need, do you know?

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 11-Jul-11 12:26:26

I have had it for OCD and it was very good- I do know that it's hugely in demand and that there are long waiting lists. Have you looked into Mindfulness based Stress reduction - Mindfulness is being used more and more in cbt - I did the 8 week course and practice mindful meditation regularly- it really is excellent...will link...

slhilly Mon 11-Jul-11 12:26:30

People generally have between 6 and 20 sessions of CBT. It is very pragmatic and will deal with the specific issues you face. If assertiveness is not part of that, it will not be about assertiveness for you.

Good luck!

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 11-Jul-11 12:28:17

here you go !

bubblesincoffee Mon 11-Jul-11 12:59:07

Thank you for the replies, and for the link Mary.

I have never heard of mindfulness before, but it looks interesting. What's the online course like? I'm not that great at motivating myself to do these things properly on my own, and I haven't got a spare 40 quid, but if it would really help then I'd be up for trying anything!

Good to hear that the CBT will be specific to what I need, I've never come across anyone that has a health anxiety related to someone else before. smile

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 11-Jul-11 15:05:44

I didn't do an online course so can't say- mine was a course with a group,which costs about £190 - really worth it though (I did quail at the cost at first!) but lots of free mindfulness practice days were included (these are brilliant) Look up John Kabat Zinn and Mindfulness and have a read first - see if it's something you would feel happy with. Really the idea is to bring you to the present moment,noticing everything but not engaging with thoughts - like watching clouds go by.I've not put it very well,but there's lots of information out there. Everyone who has done Mindfulness really rates it highly anyway !

BeckyBendyLegs Mon 11-Jul-11 17:15:50

I've been having it and I think it is the best thing ever. In fact I've just come back from a session all about anxiety and how to 'use' it in a positive way to actually get to the stage where you get used to it, get over it, and the anxiety then reduces. I have been having CBT for a balloon phobia specifically and today I've been popping balloons myself - something I never, ever thought I'd ever do willingly without wanting to run away as far as possible. Sounds funny but I have been terrified of balloons since a small child so there is definitely something in it.

bubblesincoffee Mon 11-Jul-11 17:51:32

Thanks everyone, it's very reassuring to hear the positive stories of CBT. I had heard that it was supposed to be good for phobias, I'm glad it worked for you Becky, your achievement is awesome. Well done! smile

Do you think that it will work with my anxiety? I do have a reason to worry as dh has a medical history that I really don't cope with very well. So it's not an irrational fear like a phobia, but it really doesn't need to be as bad as I make it out to be iyswim!

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 11-Jul-11 18:24:22

well it works for OCD which is pretty irrational but usually based on fact,it's just short circuited- what I remember was the being exposed to my fears (not turning gas off/locking doors/taps left on etc/germs) and learning to tolerate the anxiety that I felt,to see that in fact nothing bad did happen. Interestingly it was an experience with breast cancer 2 years ago which made me address this again (it had crept back gradually after years of being under reasonable control) It sounds quite mad,but in a way,the OCD was worse than having cancer.

BeckyBendyLegs Mon 11-Jul-11 19:09:32

Bubblesincoffee the thing about CBT I think from my experience is that the therapist will cater it especially for your own needs so I can't really say for sure how much it will help you, but the way that a person can change their own thought processes and the way the therapist can teach you to do that, to put in perspective your worries and anxieties, is very clever, yet really quite simple too. I would say, if you can find a good CBT therapist or can, even better, get help on the NHS then what have you got to lose? Like MaryAnn I was encouraged to feel the anxiety, tolerate it, realise that nothing bad was actually going to happen to me, and let it dissipate naturally. It might sound really scary but I have found it really liberating.

bubblesincoffee Mon 11-Jul-11 22:13:59

It does sound like a very clever process.

I will be doing it on the NHS, I wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise! It feels quite strange being on this side of it, and hearing your experiences having come out the other side. If that makes sense!

I understand, and trust what you are saying, but at the moment it is very hard to believe that I will ever feel ok about some of the fears that I have. I definately hope to be able to put things in perspective more than I am able to right now.

I'm starting to look forward to it now though, and the comments from you all have really helped. Big Thank you! I just hope I get an appointment soon!

MaryAnnSingleton Mon 11-Jul-11 22:36:06

fingers crossed you aren't waiting too long - let us know !

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