I have absolutely no shame, nor should I, in admitting I have had counselling/therapy before or that I am going to be having it again.
I have seen two NHS counsellors under referral from the CAHMS scheme and paid for one therapist privately but unfortunately, results from all were short lived and life’s twists and turns have left me in need of a little help once again.
I was in two minds about what kind of help I needed this time. I know my mental health has taken a real battering the last 12 months and I can tell it is bouncing back as it has in the past. The low moods are lingering and my ability to put negative thoughts to one side is decreasing but I didn’t know what type of help was going to be right for me.
As soon as me and my ex split up last September, I asked my GP for some help. I was referred to Talking Therapies in October, had my initial phone consultation and told I’d be put on the waiting list to see someone face to face.
Fast forward to July 2019 and I finally saw a therapist under Talking Therapies. We had a 30 minute chat about me and my life and everything I was struggling with but I could just tell this kind of therapy wasn’t going to be right for me. It wasn’t counselling but it wasn’t CBT, it was just about coping and I knew this wasn’t right.
About a week later, that therapist got in touch to say she felt I needed to see someone a little more qualified and that my course of treatment would benefit from being longer and more intense than she could offer me. I was put through to a CBT specialist and from Monday 19th August, I will start having an hour of CBT every week for possibly up to 16 weeks.
I’ve decided to try CBT this time opposed to counselling as I feel like I have sat and talked about my problems so many times, both to professionals and those close to me but I have never had any practical help to deal with them. After suffering with PTSD on and off for the last 12 months, as well as anxiety, depression and Disordered Eating, I know that just sitting and talking about these things again isn’t going to help me deal with them, I need more practical advice and that is what CBT can offer.
I am nervous about having CBT as I know people who have had it and their therapists really pushed them to face their anxieties in order to combat them and obviously, that in itself makes me a bit on edge about whats to come but I am actually looking forward to it.
I have dealt with anxiety, depression and eating issues for years and they really have become part of who I am and how I think and I guess they feel like second nature to me now but PTSD was a real eye opener these last 12 months and that really is a whole new type of anxiety and not something I want to get used to.
I want to document my CBT journey and be really open and honest about how I find it, what I do and how things change for me as not only will that really help me to see my own progress but it may help others about to start any kind of therapy feel less alone or like the whole thing is a bit of a taboo.
Getting help for your mental health is not a taboo or anything to be embarrassed about it, it is responsible, sensible and admirable. Admitting you need a helping hand to get yourself better is progress and a step in the right direction towards being OK.
I am always going to be open and honest about my experience with therapy because if that can help someone else that doesn’t feel quite so confident to talk about it then that makes it all worthwhile!
Check back with the blog or my social next week to find out how my first session went!