Anyone Had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

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Anniemaniac
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17 Jan 2009, 12:09 am

Tomorrow (or today, really) I have an appointment with a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for my Social Phobia. I've never been to anything like this so I'm rather nervous.

I heard that CBT can help to train you out of negative or incorrect thought patterns, which is what I need. I don't know if this is true but it's kind of my last hope for overcoming my SP. I always think people are thinking negatively about me, but this has been proven incorrect several times, and knowing that I was wrong and that people really weren't thinking bad about me helped me tremendously at the time, so I'm hoping CBT will help me, too and change my view permanently.

I like to be prepared and have a fairly good idea how things are going to go when I try anything new, but I haven't really got much of an idea what he's going to do when I get there, so, my questions are, to anyone who's had CBT:

What sort of methods did they use to help you?

What was your experience?

Did it improve or even cure your condition (doesn't have to be SP)?



pensieve
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17 Jan 2009, 12:37 am

I did self-CBT. My psychologist was going to try CBT or Schema Therapy, but my social anxiety actually started to go down.
I did accupressure and EFT, but I think what really helped me was changing the way I thought of certain things. I used to have negative thoughts speeding through my mind constantly. I'm still surprised that it worked so well.
So basically CBT helps to change your way of thinking.
There was also a video I watched called 'I think they think' which had another way of dealing with social phobia. There was a little exercise that I found useful: You write down what makes you anxious, what the possible outcome would be (negative) and what another positive outcome will be. They also say that dealing with anxiety before it happens is a good way to deal with it.
I still take B vitamins for anxiety/stress.



millie
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17 Jan 2009, 2:05 am

done a heap of it. was introduced to it in a rehab over ten years ago and have done a lot therapy with it, and it is very good for people with AS - especially if you get social anxiety and also depression.

my social skills are really good compared to ten years ago. i can be social but find it thoroughly exhasting because i have to work hard at it and work cognitively at it.



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17 Jan 2009, 4:29 pm

Yes, and I found it very helpful (for social anxiety). I only did it maybe for four months, because then I moved out of the area, but I would like to pick it up again sometime with a professional. I still try to use the principles in my everyday life however, and it definitely does help. CBT is all about identifying the thoughts that make you anxious, and then identifying the fallacies in them in order to defuse your feelings. People with social phobia have "cognitive distortions," like all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, and personalization. Once you become more aware of these in your own thoughts, you can talk yourself out of them logically.

Be aware that you will be working pretty hard. I always had "homework" assignments, and if you don't work on your own to practice the techniques, it won't do any good.


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jelibean
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17 Jan 2009, 5:37 pm

CBT?? .....................YEAHHHHHH! Brilliant.

I have been having CBT drip fed to me for the past 3yrs. I look back on who I was and how I thought in disbelief. My way of thinking has altered dramatically and of all of a sudden I have a fairly healthy degree of Theory of Mind! So I would HIGHLY recommend this form of therapy for those on the spectrum. My children too have made marvellous progress and folk that know them are astounded with the difference. It is nice and gentle although hard work!................honestly! :lol:



Anniemaniac
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18 Jan 2009, 12:56 am

Thanks for the replies everyone (sorry I didn't respond sooner)

So I went, and we discussed what my issue is, what I want to achieve and what I hope to get out of CBT etc. He asked me about school and the bullying I went through and things like that. It was good, he was friendly, it was nice and relaxed. He gave me some "homework" where I have to write about situations that make me uncomfortable/anxious and I have to answer questions about what's the worst thing that can happen, and why is it so bad etc. It definitely seems like something that would be beneficial to me. He told me that I'm the one who thinks negatively and because I think that way about myself, I assume other people are, too. He made me realise that just because I feel like I've done/said the wrong thing doesn't mean I have or that other people were bothered by it or even noticed.

Ever since we left, though, I've felt very nervous and worried about going back to him... and I don't know why. I really can't put my finger on what's making me so uncomfortable. I was fine when I was there, and he never did/said anything that made me feel uneasy or anything. So I don't know where this sudden fear has come from. I really feel I'd prefer to just stop it already and try again on my own, but I know from numerous failed attempts that I can't control my social phobia myself.

Maybe this is normal reaction to realising you need help for something? I always thought I was normal and healthy, but I guess SP isn't really normal/healthy at all if it stops me from living my life.

I'm not gonna quit just yet. I've gotta give it a chance, but it's just making me uneasy not being able to explain this sudden fear of going back.

Did anyone else feel this way after your first CBT session?



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18 Jan 2009, 1:41 am

I've done some CBT for depression. I think it's really cool because it gives you tools to deal with stuff on your own. You can be more self-reliant in terms of your treatment, if you're willing to work at it. I felt uncomfortable with CBT at first because I wasn't used to thinking of my depressive thoughts as "cognitive distortions". I thought they were the truth. Sometimes I still do, but at least I question them more now. My doctor also wanted me to read the book "Feeling Good", which I didn't want to do because it sounds really corny. Well, it is corny, but I do recommend it now because it explains CBT pretty well. I've been to some psychiatrists who were crazier than I'll ever be, but yours sounds like he isn't bad. What he's doing is really standard CBT, as I understand it. If I were you, I'd give it a shot.



Anniemaniac
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18 Jan 2009, 2:21 am

Thanks for your reply.

Quote:
I felt uncomfortable with CBT at first because I wasn't used to thinking of my depressive thoughts as "cognitive distortions".


Yeah, that's what he told me about my SP, too. He said that CBT correct this type of thinking. I knew that my fear was irrational, but I'd never been told that my thoughts were distorted. I really believed people didn't like me most of the time for the smallest things, so I guess that is why I feel uncomfortable. I thought I understood my social phobia completely, but I guess I don't because he said something I didn't expect.

Most of the time, people have only given me shallow advice like "get over it" or "just talk to people", even counsellors and doctors, so it was unexpected to me that he understood it at a deeper level and didn't just tell me to "get out more" like I was expecting.