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My CBT sessions are a bit of a let down

(14 Posts)
Realitea Tue 24-May-16 22:25:53

I was excited about my CBT starting but I've found it so unhelpful. I was sent sheets of paper explaining what anxiety was and a 'worry pack'. I have to write down my anxieties and what I did to tackle them. The worries are always 'what ifs' so I have to manage them by behaviours. I also have ocd which I'm tackling the same way.
The lady phones for half an hour every week or so asking how I've been and asks what I've done that week with my work sheets.
I also have to complete a questionnaire of my mood for her to assess.
I haven't really found it beneficial at all because it's like I know the techniques but they just don't work. It's been three weeks now and my therapist has told me she's going to leave me to it for three weeks as she is finding it hard to help me!
I feel so let down, I thought CBT was the best you could get but I'm considering starting AD's (sertraline) now as a last option.
How is CBT supposed to work? The Therapist is a trainee and sometimes sounds a bit stuck when she's talking to me. I'm constantly asked 'what do you want from these sessions'.. Well I don't know, I'm not the professional!
Maybe I'm just understanding it all wrong?

Dozer Tue 24-May-16 22:27:20

It sounds like the NHS service is "budget": can you afford private treatment? Or self refer to an NHS face-to-face service?

Realitea Tue 24-May-16 22:41:36

Can't afford it privately. I really wish I could. I'd love to know how proper CBT is done.
I didn't know you could self refer for that, thanks I'll definitely do that.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 24-May-16 22:46:07

cbt does place an emphasis on the patient helping themselves which is why you're maybe not finding the therapist as hands on.

Cognitive theory supports that your anxiety is caused by maladaptive thinking. Basically- you have an event - then your belief- which determines the outcome.

If your beliefs are a bit awry then the outcome will be skewed- hence the anxiety.
Cbt works by reprogramming the maladaptive thinking so that the outcome can be better and you stop catastrophising.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 24-May-16 22:48:04

Unfortunately, while cbt can force into changing your belief for each event it doesn't treat the root cause.

Realitea Wed 25-May-16 07:49:33

Many times I've been asked what my worries were while feeling anxious and I have no idea, there are no thoughts it's just physical. So the therapist doesnt know what to do!

mumonarocket Wed 25-May-16 07:51:57

I have to say cbt didn't work at all for me. Sometimes it's a question of trying different therapies. Intensive counselling was better for me - cbt just felt a bit shallow if that's the right word, like it didn't go very deep. And it was a bit pointless doing all that thought process stuff telling me my anxieties were illogical - I already knew they were.

Trickymoments Wed 25-May-16 07:53:52

I have found similar Realitea. I had such high hopes that it would sort my health anxiety but it hasn't.
If it was as simple as changing the wsy I think about things I'd have surely do that by now. It's not that easy to change the way you think when you are an obsessive worrier.

notagiraffe Wed 25-May-16 07:57:21

Realitea, do they ever ask what situation you were in when the anxiety came on (e.g. in a public space? at work or home etc? Are they trying to work out if there is an external trigger at all?

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 25-May-16 08:34:15

Maybe press for some psychoanalytic therapy?

Its talk based but based on the root belief that childhood/past trauma or unfinished business is to blame for your anxiety. The anxiety may be in your unconscious mind and they work to bring it to the forefront so that you can identify it and deal with it.

Realitea Wed 25-May-16 10:30:42

That sounds much much better. I hope it's not too hard to get it on the nhs. I find CBT too 'shallow' too. It can work for me but it doesn't all the time and the techniques being taught were what I was using anyway before I started,by figuring it out myself.
Making sense of my experiences growing up would finally put things to rest if they were figured out in my head.
I know my triggers are tiredness (and I'm always tired) and having too much free time so I'll be glad when work picks up. Mainly though I think it's hormonal because there are weeks when I'm just fine then as pmt time comes along I almost feel it descending on me.

Myhairisturninggrey Wed 25-May-16 14:54:44

I had the same type of cbt Realitea and feel it was a waste of time as well. On the nhs this telephone guided cbt is the first thing they offer you, as well as group or online sessions. After that I believe you can progress to face to face if there is no improvement.
I did this first step telephone cbt and just went through the motions tbh. By the time I started it I was feeling a bit better anyway and I felt they were just telling me things I already know. Scoring my mood each week and basically the "therapist" talking through that weeks section in the book and trying to offer encouragement. My problem is the "what ifs" and catastrophising and I need to change my thought processes but can't it seems. I just didn't engage with it but I'm sure it helps some people.
Good luck in finding something that helps.

Realitea Wed 25-May-16 16:45:44

You sound a lot like me. I have the 'what ifs' too. I also mentioned I have intrusive thoughts which is more ocd but was offered no guidance on that but luckily I've found better free resources online. It was worth a go I suppose but like you there are times when I feel fine and the therapist doesn't really know what to do at those times!

50shadesofTom Wed 25-May-16 17:11:58

If this doesn't work for you, you can ask for the next step up which would probably be face to face CBT.

Depending on where you live you have a small to zero chance of accessing any sort of psychotherapy on the NHS given the problems you describe.

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