Well, I finally got there. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. To be honest, I am quite impressed that it has been sorted out in about 1 – 2 months. I have had assessments with counselors before then, which has helped me along the way too, but they still said that CBT is what I really needed to help me with my issues.
So, I went into the session with a general idea what CBT was all about; changing the way you think and cope about things etc. but today I learnt more, and understand what I would be going through in the next few weeks.
Today was another assessment, by the lady who does CBT. She basically wanted to find out more about my situation, and about my past in order to help me more, and to decide if CBT will help me. I sat in a very warm room, and told her my life story, it seems!
I usually hate these situations, as I never know how to start. Do I start by how I feel now? Or when I was 13? But fortunately the lady began to ask me questions, and continued to. As I got started, it was much easier to describe what I am going through, and then she would ask me yet more questions about what was going through my mind. Those questions were tricky; I feel like I lose control of my mind, and simply don’t know what is going on in there. But, thinking back, that jumble of thoughts that I had in those anxious times show that my mind was going into overdrive, and overthinking everything.
After gathering enough information from me, she then went on to draw a small flow chart, showing how my negative thoughts I have about myself (like when I feel out of control) trigger my anxiety and panic attacks, which in turn cause me to use behaviours such as escaping, avoiding situations and self harming in order to cope and relieve the anxiety. And these behaviours do not cure the negative thoughts, and in fact make them worse, and the cycle goes around and around…
But with CBT, I can learn to challenge these behaviours, and find alternative ways of coping with the anxiety, which will then also help with my negative thoughts about myself. It will also challenge those negative thoughts, to prevent panic attacks.
I don’t know how much sense that all makes to you, but the therapist I saw made it make a lot of sense to me, and I can now understand what is happening more. It felt a lot more confusing before, but when get an idea why you are doing something, it makes it a lot easier to stop doing it.
I am now going to be having weekly CBT sessions, to get my mind on track. Apparently it is quite intensive, and I will receive ‘homework’ each week, but I will keep this blog up to date with my experiences in the coming weeks!