Sometimes we can feel down, experience anxiety or have other concerns about our health and future. How we think can have a major effect on how we see and respond to the world. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses on the present and addresses how our thoughts and interpretations affect our lives.
How we think about ourselves has a major effect on how we see the world. Identifying thoughts and bringing them into the open, can change the way we feel and resolve issues including:
CBT can help you recognise and challenge thinking patterns that are holding you back.
To find out more about our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) contact us
I started having panic attacks when I was a teenager. I had no idea what was happening to me, I thought I was going crazy and felt so alone. I didn’t talk to anyone about it but luckily, after about 3 months, they stopped. I felt pretty anxious for a while, on edge waiting for them to come back, but eventually the fear faded and I got caught up in teenage things.
At thirty-six, I’d been in a crummy relationship for three years. I was insecure, he was controlling and I was pretty miserable. I’d forgotten what it felt like to be happy. One day I was out for a coffee with a friend and suddenly felt those familiar feelings. I began to get hot, my throat was dry, I felt spaced out and kind of unreal. I couldn’t focus on what my friend was saying and the feelings kept getting stronger. I began to fidget and was finding it hard to breathe, I felt sick and thought I would pass out. I ran outside and was gasping for air. Eventually, my friend helped me calm down.
This time I knew what was happening. I’d been anxious for some time, probably since the beginning of my relationship with Peter but I hadn’t made the connection. Over the following months the panic attacks became more frequent and my confidence was dwindling. I stopped going out socially and was finding it hard to focus at work. On one occasion, I ran out of a meeting because I could feel myself starting to panic. I couldn’t control it, my body seemed to have a life of its own and I thought I was losing my mind. It was ruining my life and I had to admit I needed help. I’d read that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was a very successful treatment for anxiety disorders so I got on the internet and found a therapist. He was amazing. He kept reassuring me that it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t going crazy and I could learn to calm my over-active stress response.
I was asked to keep a thought record so I could learn to identify any patterns. I soon learned that many of my thoughts were negative and fearful, seeing things in black and white. I also fretted about what others thought about me, making me even more anxious. He helped me to understand the impact my thinking had on my feelings. It was a real eye opener, I never realised I had such a critical voice in my head.
My therapist taught me some relaxation techniques and how to practice self-compassion. He explained that harsh, self-criticism can activate our stress response so it’s important to focus on the positive things about ourselves. It’s been about a year since I had my last panic attack and I feel I’ve got my life back. I found the confidence to end my relationship with Peter and I’m enjoying work again. I still use the techniques I learned, particularly if I have an event coming up that’s a bit scary. CBT helped me to take back the control I thought I’d lost and I’d recommend it to anyone.