Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) My First Session

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

I have just completed my first Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Session with the Talking Mental Health Derbyshire Team. I am so thankful for the mental health resources in my area. With the house move and leaving my friends behind, having so much stress renovating the house and simply feeling so alone at times, it has really taken it's toll on me. 

When I realised that I was sinking into depression again and struggling with my motivation, I went along to my local GP. I actually went online first and looked through the 'Meet the team' to choose someone who looked easy to talk to (as my anxiety makes me so nervous about talking to strangers) then requested an appointment with that particular doctor and she has been amazing. We talked through my feelings and what was going on in my life, she talked about CBT and recommended I self-refer to TMHD and put me on a low dose of an anti-depressant different to the one I tried last time. We have since had regular appointments to discuss how I am getting on and she slightly increased my dosage last week as I have been getting on well with these tablets. 

As well as the help from my GP, I did my self-referral to Talk Mental Health Derbyshire and after an initial assessment and a few follow up calls to check on me, I was recommended to try CBT and put on the waiting list. Well today I had my first CBT session over the telephone with my therapist. I had no idea my sessions were starting today as my letter didn't arrive so when I received a text reminder I assumed it was another check from the initial counsellor. If anything this was a great thing as I had no time to worry beforehand. It was quite intense. My therapist was really nice and explained what it would entail beforehand but I am not sure I was emotionally ready for all the realisation. We talked through the typical point questionnaire to see how I was feeling. Then recapped what had been going on at the point I had last spoken to someone and I got to add what had happened since and talk about it all. We then delved into an action plan, I had to decide what it is that I want to deal with, how that issue makes me feel and what effect it has on my life. The way it was worded and the way she went about questioning me had me feeling so at ease that I was answering questions I didn't think I knew the answers to. 

I really struggle with motivation so that is the big issue we need to deal with. When my motivation is low I feel worried and physically exhausted, therefore I hide or sleep to try and avoid my thoughts which leads to me feeling like I have so much to do and not enough time. I also feel guilt towards my family as I feel I don't contribute enough. Basically my anxiety tends to make everything worse. I constantly worry about how others feel towards me and I am always putting pressure on myself for things I don't necessarily need to. I am a queen of self-sabotage and I need to break that cycle. At the moment I am one extreme or the other. I have days where I don't sit down, I run around doing things around the house and doing jobs all day. On those days I feel so accomplished and pleased with myself. Though some days I wake up wishing I hadn't woken up, not wanting to do anything especially for myself. I will do the bare minimum and hide away feeling low and withdrawing from those around me. On those days I feel nothing but sadness and guilt. 

Each week I will be set homework by my therapist. This weeks homework is to fill in a mood diary. Each day I write how I feel and note down any significant triggers or feelings in order to find ways to battle it. Next week I will talk to my therapist about it as part of my next session.

I am so pleased with how my first session has gone. After putting the phone down I felt so many emotions. I felt overwhelmed from the realisation of how I had actually been feeling, I felt emotional like I was going to cry, I felt empowered as I have taken a big step and I feel excited to try and overcome my issues. Most of all I was shocked at my willingness to talk so openly and honestly, which is also why I have immediately written it all down before I shut myself away again. I do struggle to talk about my emotions and let my guard down but it is exactly what I need to do to build myself up again.

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