So this morning I had my fourth session with my therapist, Tom. I think today is the first time that I’ve really understood what it’s all about and found myself opening up a lot more. We spent a lot of the session talking about my anxieties; particularly about going out in public. The big thing that I’ve really got from today was a model for thinking about thinking. I accept that this sounds mad, but it’s going – I think – to be a pretty key part of what I need to do.
The idea of my therapy – which is primarily CBT based – is to start noticing the negative automatic thoughts that I have so that my therapist and I can come up with alternatives to them For example, at the moment I’m terrified of going into my local town shopping (or for anything else) in case I see someone that I know. The negative automatic thoughts that go with that are my thinking that they will inevitably judge me and think that I’m worthless and a loser etc. because I’m no longer working, because I’m on benefits, because I’ve got depression etc. I know that those thoughts are not helpful. I’m not a mind reader, so I can’t hope to know how someone else thinks, after all!
However, knowing that something is unhelpful and actually changing it are two different things. For me, I’m still at the working out what I’m thinking stage, and not yet ready to begin making changes. Hopefully that will come later.