Wednesday, 6 August 2014
CBT Review - Aha, Progress!
Today I had my CBT review session, in which we looked over how far I've come since my first session way back in March, how I've been finding it and what the plan of action is from now on.
I've been really pleased with my progress throughout the last 5 months. Group CBT was really good for learning some coping mechanisms, and my levels of anxiety reduced massively after the 5 sessions I had. I would say now that anxiety is not really something that gets in my way. While I still have pangs of worry from time to time, I am able to deal with them using the breathing techniques, challenging my thoughts or by changing my focus of attention. And the results have shown up in the mood assessment questionnaire I fill out before each session (similar questionnaire can be found here). My anxiety score for my first assessment was 17 out of 18. This was a huge score, 9 points above what would be considered to be a normal level. In today's session, my assessment score was 7. That's a massive 10 point difference, and now I am considered to have a healthy level of anxiety!
After Group CBT, I've had 6 one to one sessions to tackle my depression and low mood. I feel that these have done so much to really target the cause of my low mood and break it down from its very core. We've established my core beliefs and how they affect my thought processes, and challenged my thought processes so I've started to think more rationally again. I'm not quite there yet, as my core beliefs are so strong they will take a bit of extra work, but already I am much less down. Again my assessment scores reflect this; I started on 17 out of 21, and has now been reduced to 10. Below 9 points and I would not be considered to be depressed, so as you can see my low mood is much more mild now.
It's so good to see all this working. I've made some huge changes to my lifestyle this year; I've started eating more healthily and exercising regularly again, I'm seeking help on polishing up my CV and I've continued to blog no matter how hard it's sometimes been. As a result, I've lost weight, got much fitter, improved my online presence, picked up some new skills, learned so much about myself and become much happier.
I have three more CBT sessions left, in which we will concentrate on tackling the 'I am not good enough' core belief, and then hopefully some relapse prevention. For the first time in a long while, I'm feeling hopeful.