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anyone had experience of CBT. mine has finally been agreed for my driving issues.......

(23 Posts)
psychomum5 Wed 03-Sep-08 13:04:05

I have literally opened the letter with the info in it. is is going to be private treatment (ie, paid for thro insurance co rather than waiting for NHS referral), and it is to help me deal with my driving issues from my car accidents.

I am entitled to 8 sessions paid for, and then more if needed.....

what happens? is it like 'normal' counselling where they sit and talk? of not, what do they do?

and does it work quickly and well??


psychomum5 Wed 03-Sep-08 13:53:59


pooter Wed 03-Sep-08 13:59:37

Hi psychomum5, well, all ive had experience of is online CBT - a program called 'beating the blues' which can be used for depression/anxiety/OCD/self harm etc. Its not like ordinary counselling at all, in that you are not encouraged to dwell on the past - it doesnt matter how you got to this stage, but you focus on dealing with the present.

One part is recognising 'thinking errors' for example, you walk past a friend int he street and she ignores you. you think "she doesnt like me, i knew it! no one likes me, i am just an unlikable person " etc etc. The counsellor gets you to identify the times when you have jumped to conclusions like this so you can start to catch yourself doing it, and think something different such as "oh silly Vera hasnt got her contacts in again"

The other part is your behaviour. You have to identify the times/places/scenarios where you have a problem and come up with loads of potential ways of avoiding them/changing them.

Its pretty good in my opinion, although im not very good about doing the homework. Have a look on the beating the blues website.

Hope it helps!

MatBackFeck Wed 03-Sep-08 14:04:44

No direct experience but am reading an excellent book about it - CBT for Dummies - apparently it is the one recomended by the therapists even though it is a for dummies one. It is very good - enough for me and my relatively minor issues I think. 2 of my friends are havinng it at the moment for post-natal depression and ones Dh for anxiety - all think it is really helping.

MatBackFeck Wed 03-Sep-08 14:07:25

yes one of the friends with PND really likes it becasue she has severe abuse in her past and she has found it counter-productive in conventional therapy to go into it all the time but the CBT is helping her deal with the fallout. I have already found it useful from the book about not assuming the worse / negative thought eg the why didnt she talk to me scenario below.

psychomum5 Wed 03-Sep-08 14:07:33


mine is for driving as I have said. I am constantly aware of other cars around me when I am driving (well, as you should be really), but if a car comes too close I then start picturing the possible accident that could have happened, rather than be able to think <phew, that was close> and just drive on.

I already recognise myself doing it, so was kind of hoping that CBT might be as you, helping me divert my thoughts away from seeing me and the children crunched in the street.

EEk about 'homework' tho.....

MatBackFeck Wed 03-Sep-08 14:11:02

From what I've read I think it will really help - they really go into "over-catastrophising" eg one of the examples in the book is one that used to stress me out - when I get home first and DP is picking DC up from nursery on way home if they are 5 mins late I immediately think oh god they've had a car crash not, oh there must be traffic. I didn't realise really I was doing it but I would be pacing about until they got back. Now, just by being aware of it, I get less anxious.

pooter Wed 03-Sep-08 14:15:17

it can be really helpful for driving anxiety - one of the five examples of real people who have been helped by CBT that i have to read about is almost exactly the same as you.

The homework is just things like
- list 4 possible diversions (play music, sing a song, say the word 'bing' (just made that one up!!))
- keep a diary of incidences
- do one thing that makes you happy this week

its not arduous - but sometimes i just dont want to acknowledge my ishoooooos and dont want to think about it at all! Im only in week three, but im sure it is helping. I bet a live counsellor rather than an online thing (its prescribed by the NHS due to ridiculous waiting lists for real counsellors!) would be far more effective.

TheMadHouse Wed 03-Sep-08 14:26:01

I had CBT for my depression and it was fantastic, really woprked for me.

I found it quite a contant thing TBH. I had things that I needed to read and worksheets to fill out. I found that after a while I was doing some of the things in my head rather than writing down.

So I actually changed the way I think. I had a session a fortnight for about 9 months though on the NHS.

So I can say that it really made a difference, although it was hard and sometimes very exhausting.

psychomum5 Wed 03-Sep-08 16:29:07

thankyou all. I disappeared earlier on school runs!

I am quite looking forward to this now then. I so need to get past this anxious feeling I gete when driving, for my sake as well as DH and the childrens.

and the 'homework' doesn;t sound too bad reading what you have said pooter.

MatBackFeck Wed 03-Sep-08 16:46:51

good luck!

let us know how it goes

psychomum5 Thu 04-Sep-08 10:19:24

the CBT lady rang me this morning. I have my first appointment next weds at 5pm.....<<eek>>.

how long is the first one likely to take, any idea?? DH wants to know as I will be may need him to cook dinner if I am going to be very late.

kayjayel Thu 04-Sep-08 10:39:39

Hi psychomum. I do a bit of this and because its through the insurance you have to stick quite strictly to the cbt programme around driving, so not digging around with other issues too much! what o like best is seeing how quickly confidence and self esteem comes back to people, even though you stick just with one thing. e.g. one person came just about driving and ended up at the end deciding to challenge other things like social anxiety and fear of flying.

You have to trust your therapist - if you really don't like them or don't click tell your insurance company and see if they can change you.

1st session likely to be assessment (getting to know you and the problem) and about an hour. good luck! hope it goes well! they will almost certainly be nice to you!

psychomum5 Thu 04-Sep-08 10:45:24


I am not wanting to do any more than just deal with my driving TBH.....I do have other issues, but they need to be sorted when I am ready....not mix up with my driving fear.

I am ready to deal with driving tho......I am so angry that I get so tense and scared, and the impact it has on those around me. I used to love driving. if I had a bad day, a drive to the beach, or out in the forest used to 'blow my cobwebs away' IYGWIM. I can;t do that anymore......and get so tense and my heart goes so fast I just try to get to where I need to be as carefully as poss. (not that I was not careful before......I was, I am more dangerous now as I probably react to quickly to a danger that is not really thereblush).

I will take on board what you say about being able to trust the lady tho.......and thankyou for saying that I could change as I would not have figured that I could if needed.

jenny37 Fri 05-Sep-08 13:06:49

Hello ,i've had cbt and found amazing ,infact i think it saved my life.I've suffered from agoraphobia but it was all triggered of by my fear of driving ,being trapped in traffic when i felt like i would pass out with my kids in the car and all that.
They teach you to combat your irrational negative thoughts and replace then with logical positive ones. It's really good ,honest lol.They explain why you feel the way you do and find what triggers these feelings.
Hope this helps.Oh and i cried all the way through my first hour session lol.

psychomum5 Fri 05-Sep-08 17:13:48

thanyou jenny.

I know why my fear has been triggered....three fairly bad car accidents in which I was the driver but none have been my fault. problem started with both the first two drivers telling they couldn;t see me and so I feel invisable on the road and very very vunerable, and I gat panicked when cars come too close and then start imagining us all being crumpled in the road.

I am still driving, but the tension is massive and I am always feeling knotted in my neck and back.

FrodosGirl Fri 05-Sep-08 17:19:14

Oh psycho, this is great news, I bought a book or two on cbt to help dp, can send them to you if you like?

psychomum5 Fri 05-Sep-08 17:57:14


yes please

how are you my dear???

FrodosGirl Fri 05-Sep-08 21:00:37

Hi psycho, we are all fine thanks, missing you loads. grin

I`ll dig out what books I can find and pop them in the post for you tomorrow.

psychomum5 Fri 05-Sep-08 21:25:21

missing you heaps too.

when you coming at xmas???????

FrodosGirl Sat 06-Sep-08 08:26:51

driving back on xmas eve and staying til after new year so will definately be able to see you some time.

TheBournemouthBetrayal Wed 10-Sep-08 16:48:04

bumping (tis psycho BTW)

am off to my first appointment


wish me luck

psychomum5 Wed 10-Sep-08 18:38:47

ok, no-one told me that this would be hard.

she says my anxiety is on level 5, the highest, regarding driving!!

and she says that I have boxed up my very first accident (I had one when I was pregnant with DS1), then added to the box the second accident, and then the third accident confirmed to me that all drivers are bad and the box overflowed.

and now I have to re-live each accident to be able to assess them and be able to move on.

she has warned me that it will be harder before it gets better........and that the next few days might find me very very tearful<<sob>>

She has promised me tho, that the fact that I am driving, even tho I am anxious, is 100% proof of how much I want to change and that I can be fixed<<phew>>.

oh, and all my feelings are all normal and expected for PTSD. ((see, I am normalwink)).

but the over riding feeling is one of fear right now....I am ready to get mended, but not to relive the crashes and disect (sp?) them. that scares me......

ooh, she also wants me to take in a cassette tape so she can record relaxtion excersises.....I have to do them twice a day however hard, and also do homework too (I knew about the homework).


yay and <sob>

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