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Oh flippin' heck. CBT and waiting lists.

(11 Posts)
Namechangernormous Tue 06-Sep-11 10:20:56

I had a breakdown at Easter this year. Got put on ADs and put on the waiting list for talking therapies in early June. It was going to be a 4 month wait but there was a cancellation so only had to wait 3 months.

Had my first session with a CBT therapist last week. Poured everything out to her as requested, even though this was just supposed to be an 'initial consultation'. She then said that this was the first session out of a maximum of six, and the last 3 sessions would be done over the phone! But in that first session we mostly just filled in risk forms and talked about what sort of therapy I need. So basically, I would only get 5 proper CBT sessions and 3 of those would be on the phone! Thought this was rubbish.

She promised to call me on (last) Friday to schedule my next session in 2 weeks' time. She didn't call.

Monday (yesterday) she called to say she had been discussing me with a colleague and they both decided I would benefit more from high-intensity CBT instead, with someone else. So, longer sessions and more than six of them. I agreed this sounded OK if it's what they thought was best for me.

Now she's put me back on the waiting list and said it's likely to be another 6-8 months before my next session!

I'm so disappointed, and I feel quite let down. It means I'll have to go through that first session all over again (which was a bit traumatic) with somebody else; meanwhile, I don't feel like I can move on. I feel stuck in limbo, waiting again.

I've been doing a bit of online CBT (eCouch) by myself and I've got the workbook she gave me last week, but what I need is an actual person sad

yellowraincoat Tue 06-Sep-11 10:23:49

No advice, jst sympathy. Been in the same position myself. Is going private an option?

Namechangernormous Tue 06-Sep-11 10:31:56

Thanks for the sympathy smile

No it's not, unfortunately. Really can't afford it. So just have to be patient and wait I suppose. It's just so disappointing and frustrating - if I had a brain tumour I'd be seen quickly (I expect). I have a different kind of illness in my brain but I have to wait until next year. It doesn't really make sense to me.

JurassicGibbon Tue 06-Sep-11 10:32:00

It was an 18 month waiting list when I lived elsewhere!

I did try it private for a few sessions, but it was worse than useless. I was told afterwards by someone else that it can actually be counter-productive if you start too soon after a breakdown.

I recently went to see someone (NHS psychologist) about starting it where I now live, and his response was, 'what is it you want me to do exactly? You can do it online yourself.' Maybe he was right, although my knee jerk reaction was to be annoyed by what he said; certainly, I've never found any counselling/therapy/'person' stuff to be any use at all.

Namechangernormous Tue 06-Sep-11 10:36:46

That's a shame Jurassic. I wonder how soon "too soon" is though. This had been building up for years and now I just feel like I really need to get it all out, face to face, with someone who can help me. I feel ready. I can talk to my DH but all he can do is listen and sympathise.

The response you got from the psychologist was rubbish. You certainly can do it online yourself, but maybe for some people that's not the best option. I'd have been annoyed too.

JurassicGibbon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:12:50

I had a breakdown in the May, and probably tried the private session CBT in the June or July - I think it was £45 a time. I had another breakdown in the August so should have waited really! It had building up in me for years too, but I'd successfully put it all away, then when it burst out, there was nothing I could do about it for a while.

There is a guy at Glasgow Uni who is good, and he does an online one which is well thought of. Will dig out the link. I do think that, after years of dealing with all of this, you're pretty much on your own unless you are willing to be drugged up to the eyeballs beyond recognition of yourself. I know that maybe sounds harsh, and I don't mean it to be of you personally in any way (I really, really don't - it's just my view of me and what I've experienced), but I wish I had known 5 years ago how little there is to support and help, and how I had to just get myself sorted rather than waste energy on bad services and poor provision. It's really appalling.

JurassicGibbon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:14:06

Chris Williams:

There's a book too - unrelated to that site but, again, well thought of. Will find that too!

JurassicGibbon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:16:57

I think it's this book:

My CPN suggested it, and I did start it but the problem with doing CBT myself I always found was that I couldn't relate to any of the case studies at all, they never 'had' what I 'had.'

Namechangernormous Tue 06-Sep-11 11:48:17

Ah yes Jurassic, I think maybe the month after a breakdown really would have been too soon. It IS appalling that if you can't afford to go private then you have to wait for such a long time and even then the provision may not be so good.

The therapist I saw last week, don't get me wrong, she was very pleasant and seemed understanding and sympathetic but she was so much younger than me (may have been mid-20s?) and I came away with the impression that she doesn't have all that much experience, and perhaps that's one of the reasons she has passed me on to someone else, as she is unable to provide high-intensity CBT.

I think I just need to accept that, for now at least, I'm on my own and I've got to deal with it on my own (for the most part anyway - talking on here is helpful, as is talking to my DH).

Thank you so much for posting those links, I will go and have a look at them - much appreciated smile

Oh, yes I also find it very hard to relate to the case studies - typical example being it might be about a male office worker suffering work stress. I'm female, run a small business from home, have stress but not at all work related. It's difficult.

JurassicGibbon Tue 06-Sep-11 12:15:06

Do you have a CPN? They don't always work either (I'm a real ray of sunshine, aren't I?) but when you get one that's right for you, they can be fab.

You also made a point about having to go through it all again with someone else - I think that's vital. The professionals often don't seem to get how draining it is to tell your story over and over again. In fact, at one point, I was facing a new CPN and a psychologist so I said I wanted a joint meeting with them and my psychiatrist all at the same time in one room so that I could tell them all without having to repeat it. It also gave me a chance to try and gauge what they were like and if they seemed to be a good fit.

I think they do all work differently irrespective of what they might claim. With something this big - your life - it seems ridiculous that you can get stuck with someone who isn't that good fit after all. I'm sure I'm a nightmare for lots of them, but I tell them what I definitely don't want because there's no point in us both wasting our time. They often ignore it though!

While I'm on a rant, sometimes they often don't seem to get the impact of these meetings before and after the event. It's hard - and the irony is that you have to be stronger at this point of your life than ever before, just when you want to lie down and sleep.

Good luck - if it would help to PM me if you ever want a chat, please do.

Namechangernormous Wed 07-Sep-11 09:06:33

No I don't have a CPN...I don't even know how one goes about getting attached to one, or if it's necessary. I don't really know much about mental health care at all other than what is happening to me personally.

It was a good idea to tell your story in a joint meeting, I did find it very draining indeed. It affected me for a good 3 days afterwards.

Thanks for the support and the offer of a PM chat, it's good to be amongst people who understand smile

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