So, as promised in my ‘why I’m having CBT‘ blog, I am back today to let you all know what my first session was like, what we covered, how I found it and the plan for me going forward.
I had my first session on the 19th August. I went first thing before work at 9:15am and to be honest, on reflection, I wish I had booked it after work or taken the rest of the day off because I came out a little drained.
I have met with four different counsellors before and had that ‘first session experience’ four times before, so I really should have been clued up to the fact that I would feel a little out of sorts when I came out but I just never gave it a thought.
The first time you meet a new mental health therapist of any kind, that session is intense. You’re getting to know each other and you’re probably going to be asked to go over everything that has happened in the past that has brought you to this appointment and that in itself is exhausting, emotionally and mentally.
It is a massively important part of the process and has to be done so you and your new therapist can get a plan together going forward but that doesn’t mean sitting for an hour and talking about the parts of your past that hurt you the most isn’t tough because it is.
So, that was pretty much the purpose of my session. We had an hour where essentially, I spoke and she listened and wrote notes. She’d interject every now and again with a question or a comment to provoke what I told her next but generally, I had free reign to get everything off my chest and tell her my story.
Although this is hard, it is actually quite therapeutic. A fresh pair of non-judgemental ears, whose job is just to sit and listen while you essentially dump all your thoughts, feelings and worries on them. I often hold back from overloading onto friends and family because it simply isn’t their job to listen, so having the opportunity to get everything off your chest is nice, although tough too.
I had to fill out some forms too. I have done them before and they have a kind of grading system on them. They ask you about different parts of your life and different elements of your mental health and ask you to score how severe things are. This in itself makes you stop and think about yourself, your life and how things are affecting you day to day and these forms really are an eye opener. You’ll be asked to fill the same form out throughout your time in CBT or any form of counselling so they can monitor you.
At the end of my session, we decided together that CBT was a good option for me and that I would continue going forward with the process. Although drained, I did leave feeling positive that I was now taking steps in the right direction to get better and also feeling I had a better understanding of some of the things I’d been so bothered and upset about, which in itself is great process.
I have another session this week and I am actually looking forward to getting further into the process. I am excited to move away from just talking about my past and actually starting to proactively getting down to helping me deal with it.
I will be back next week with another update but until then, I hope anyone else having CBT or counselling is finding it useful and is getting on well with it!