Not liking CBT / unsure what to do.

Posted , 9 users are following.

So I’ve recently started CBT, and I really wanted to be positive about it and go in with high spirits and trust and openness... but I really hate it, every minute of it. The first phone conversation I had with my therapist went pretty good and I was quite excited before the first session (which was meant more as an assessment and not an actual CBT session). My GP even said at one point, about this first initial assessment “let’s see what the expert says”, meaning the therapist (aka Wellbeing Practitioner). But when I actually got there and as we started talking I soon started to feel really uncomfortable sharing things, and I hated her responses, they felt so rehearsed and weird. It felt condescending the way she was talking to me and I just didn’t feel “safe”. I still did my best to try and share as much as I could and be honest but there are lots of things I didn’t mention even tho I had planned to tell her. Anyway I’ve now had one session of what they’re calling “guided self-help” (basically CTB type therapy) and it’s beyond a doubt the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever tried. The conversation felt totally scripted (just that I never got my lines), no seriously a few time I said something and she didn’t know how to respond, it was little talking to a fish! And she’s barely older than me, probably fresh out of training (and most definitely not an “expert” as my GP assumed).

I’m not sure what to do now, I have another appointment on Wednesday but I really don’t want to go. I really want to back out and say this isn’t for me but my GP really hasn’t got anything else to offer me (I don’t think) and I don’t want it to look like I’m unwilling to get better or like I’m throwing the only thing I agreed to back in his face (as I said I didn’t really want any meds yet). Any suggestions? Should I just stick it out a few more sessions? If I decide to quit, should I tell my GP that I’ve done that, should I go talk to him first about wanting to stop with the CBT before I tell my therapist anything? I really don’t know what to do.

My GP also doesn’t really have the full story of how bad it’s gotten, mainly because it’s just been getting worse and worse. The first time I saw him it really wasn’t so bad but then in the weeks following that first appointment everything got just so much harder for me. Should I tell him? I’m so bad at telling him stuff, I only get 10 min long appointments and I get so nervous because of the time limit. Last time I saw him I was shivering and was in physical pain the whole time (and I didn’t actually tell him why I was really there... just a major fail altogether). Later that day I had what I assume might have been my first real panic attack (maybe) I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a while and I was really depressed for a while a few years ago, but I don’t think I’ve ever had an actual panic attack (if that’s what it was). I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to make another appointment and then not say what I mean to (I have written letters in the past but I really don’t want to do that again either) I feel like he’s so sick of me, or not sick of me; I think he’s frustrated because there’s so little he can do for me. I’m just so confused right now and don’t know what to do.

Sorry for the ridiculously long post. And (for those who got this far) thanks for reading it!

All the best,

Anya

1 like, 37 replies

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  • Posted

    Hi Anya

    Sounds like you have a lot going on for you. With regards to the CBT - I would try and go to another few sessions with an open mind and then re-assess how you feel about it?

    I know you said you've written letters in the past, but if you are struggling to verbalise how you feel to your GP in the apt, maybe writing it down and showing the GP is a good idea?

    Do you have any grounding techniques for the anxiety and panic attacks?

    Your GP will not be "fed up" of you - it is their job, and what they are paid to do. 

    hang on in there xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Lisa, thank you for the lovely reply.

      I could try I guess, it's just that I find it so difficult to be honest because of how judged and uncomfortable she makes me feel and I realised this is mainly due to my own insecurities but still, it’s just really hard.

      I don't even know if there's any point to me seeing my GP again, he'll just look at me in this "I wish I could help but I don't know what to do" kind of way, like he did last time when he could obviously see I was struggling but I think mental health is just a little out of his depth.

      I think I'll leave my GP alone for a while but yes I guess I'll try and give the "CBT" (I don't even know if it's really proper CTB) another chance, at least the sessions are only half an hour long.

      Thanks and all the best xx

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  • Posted

    Not sure if CBT is the same everywhere but in my NHS trust you have 3 guided self help sessions with one practitioner and following these you agree whether to move forward to formal CBT. In my trust if you go for formal CBT you get a new practitioner. I hated the 3 self help sessions, found them quite patronising and useless but having moved into formal CBT it has been much more helpful. Might be worth trying to find out if you get a different practitioner for formal CBT in your trust? 
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    • Posted

      Oh, I’m not sure… I don’t think anything was said about things changing after 3 sessions, I think the plan is that I get 3 guided self help sessions and then we evaluate how it’s going (this, for experience I’m assuming, is basically where she asks if I think it’s useful and doesn’t do an evaluation herself). And then I think I can only get more of what we’ve just been from those 3 sessions. I don’t think I could get a different therapist because this is the therapist that works with my GP practice so she’s here twice a week and I’m pretty sure she’s the only one. But I could try and look into it, who do you think would be the best person to contact about this? (if you don’t mind me asking – obviously if you’re not sure either that’s fine) : )

      Oh and yes “patronising and useless” is exactly how I’d describe my experience of guided self help.

      Thanks for the info, I really hope it works the same here! I also wouldn’t mind trying some talking therapies but there’s not much available through the NHS and I just can’t afford to pay for it on my own right now.

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    • Posted

      Oh your NHS trust is definitely different to mine. Ours is a centralised service shared by all GP practises. Might be worth ring the Drs and asking for advice, maybe the Practise Manager? Getting along with you therapist will be key to how well the therapy works in my opinion!
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  • Posted

    Hi Anya, 

    No problem at all, happy to try and help. 

    Would you feel comfortable telling the CBT therapist that you feel uncomfortable? Maybe they don't realise and there is something they can do to ease the situation for you?

    Also, there are self help CBT books that may be benefitial and some CBT websites 

    xxx

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    • Posted

      I'm not sure if CBT is the right thing for me at all but I'll give it a go for a while longer and see what happens.

      I want to say I'd be able to talk to her about it but realistically looking someone in the face and telling them I'm not comfortable with them is probably not "manageable" for me. (She likes to ask, in a very patronizing way, "does that seem manageable?" about things I need to do. Of course I say yes but then yesterday I didn't actually manage to do any of the things I said were manageable.)

      xx

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  • Posted

    Hi anya I was the same first time I did It I loved it ! My anxiety went second time around I hated it I didn't like my worker so much either she even told me she didn't think I was ready for it .

    Try to do a couple more if it isn't for you don't go again cancel it because it doesn't work for everyone I learnt a lot from it but after quitting from my own experience I had more confident after quiott

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    • Posted

      Posted too early ...anyway after I left I got more confidence from quitting because I had learnt a little and started doing it in my own way I still ain't cured but my cbt started making me more anxiouse because I was dreading it but just try a few more if not try to teach yourself it's definitely not for everyone xx
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    • Posted

      Thanks for this glad I'm not alone (not that I thought I was, but still always nice to hear people have had similar experiences), yeah I think I'll try the Wednesday session and then if I feel as awful during and after it as I did this week I'll probably quit.
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  • Posted

    Cbt isn't always suitable for everyone, I hated it too. There are other forms of therapy, I'm in CAT which is much better,cbt for me was a total waste of everyone's time
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    • Posted

      It's Cognitive Analytical Therapy,it allows more room for dealing with the root issues in the past,to then resolve the issues which cause anxiety in the present. cBT is all about now,it doesn't allow for dealing with he past - that works for some, but definitely not all.
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    • Posted

      CAT is available on the NHS its not too specialised or unusual asking your therapist should open things up for you. CBT is common and cheap to deliver so it always gets offered first, but its definitely not the only thing available
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