So I’ve been really bad and not written any notes from sessions 4 and 5, which happened prior to a long break from CBT whilst my therapist was on holiday. Therefore I’ve had to write this focusing on what I can remember from the sessions.
Session 4 looked at my homework from the previous week. I think we were only meant to look at it for part of the session, but as I had ended up writing pages and pages of notes for it, it took up the entire session – oops!
It was really interesting to look back at my worries and to be able to see how a lot of them were completely unfounded. I was able to see a pattern of some of my negative thoughts and worries, and it really helped me to get some recognition on the symptoms of my anxiety.
I was set a task at the end of the session, to go shopping and not rely on my mum or Ed to make decisions for me during the trip. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s been one of my biggest issues from my anxiety. I literally can’t go into a shop and make simple decisions on my own.
In session 5 we discussed the previous week, and the outcome of the task. Although I did manage to go shopping without relying on my mum and Ed, I didn’t quite play by the rules as I left my phone at home, which meant I physically was unable to ring them, which wasn’t part of the plan. We agreed that I would go shopping again with my phone this time, so that I would have to stop myself from calling for help when in the shop.
In this session we also discussed the blogging event I attended, and how it pushed me out of my comfort zone but really helped with my confidence. I actually coped a lot better than I thought I would on the day, and I was proud of myself for not backing out.
Before the end of the session we looked at the science behind some of the more physical symptoms of my anxiety such as a dry mouth, heart palpitations and shakiness – fight or flight. We went through some breathing techniques and as I wasn’t due to see my therapist for quite a lot of time, I was given a fair amount of homework to keep me busy. Unfortunately, I lost this homework and so didn’t manage to do any of it!
The time between sessions 5 and 6 saw me go through quite a difficult time. My mum had a health scare, which really affected me, and I also went through some other difficult issues in my personal life which really tested me. I also attended two blogging events, which were nerve wracking for their own reasons, but I was so proud of myself that I again coped despite my fears and I came away really pleased that I went. The first of these events I had helped to organise, and it was so lovely to hear the feedback regarding the goody bags I had put together – it definitely made it worth the effort and stress.
Session 6 started with us discussing the events of the past couple of weeks, and the issues in my personal life I had been going through. I kind of poured everything out and used my therapist as a bit of a sounding board, but it was really useful as she was able to help me understand that the emotions and my reactions to them were perfectly normal. My therapist turned it around and asked that if a friend came to me and told me everything that had happened, what would my reaction be.
We came up with some coping mechanisms for some of the situations I can’t escape, and we also reflected on the homework I hadn’t been able to complete and set some more goals for this week. I came out of the session feeling so much more positive, and lighter for getting so much off my chest.
Although I was sure that the break from therapy had meant I was relapsing, I realised from the session that actually I have been coping better than I first thought and that therapy is obviously having a good effect on my wellbeing. I’m even more determined to carry the CBT on now and continue to work on ways to combat my anxious thoughts.