Today I started my fourth lot of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). After I finished my five sessions in August last year, I was promised a higher intensity CBT for around December time to get me through the Winter months - albeit a little late, today I started.
I've decided to blog about it this time round as I really want to put my all into the sessions and also be able to revisit them afterwards. The best way for me to do this is to write about it, I also felt it could be helpful for others to read.
Today's session was all about getting to know me, and these sort of sessions never get any easier. I've always been able to pinpoint the moment things went bad, and talking about it is really like rubbing salt in the wound. It honestly shocked me a little, how raw the emotions still felt when talking about it - I instantly started crying.
This time round my therapist delved far deeper into my life and also my family around me. She asked me about my parents as individuals and also my brother and sisters and their mental health. This is the first time I've ever thought a therapist had honestly tried to get to know me, it was quite settling. I usually find CBT quite vague and impersonal, which I think could be a reason why I've never really connected with CBT before.
We discussed anxiety and what made me feel anxious; feeling trapped, out of control, travelling in a car, being in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. We also talked about panic attacks and how these felt for me.
The final part of the session was dedicated to my 'goals' for these sessions. Through tears I expressed that I wanted my life back, and to be able to get back to work comfortably. I want my confidence back and be able to take risks and live my life. I feel like a lot of my mental troubles are to do with a lack of confidence - I'm stuck in a vicious loop and I need to get out of it.
I've been given a 'Panic Disorder Severity Scale - Self Report Form', 'Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), a thought diary and the usual questionnaire to fill out, as well as a few bits to read; 'Unhelpful Thinking Habits', 'Dealing with Negative Emotions', 'Emotions and their associated thoughts, body reactions and resulting behaviours' and 'Fight or Flight Response.'
I will be having 5-6 sessions, usually every 2 weeks but my next session is a week today as there was a free spot. I'm looking forward to seeing her again and getting started with therapy.