After a lot of consideration, I have come to the conclusion that CBT isn’t for me.
I started the therapy anticipating that this moment would come, but nevertheless it’s disappointing to be met with another dead end on my route to recovery.
Why wasn’t it working? A few reasons, including the time-consuming format (basically like WhatsApp), limited scope and focus on behaviours/goals.
More specifically, my behaviours aren’t actually an issue on a daily basis. After nearly two years of forcing myself out of bed to attend a soul-crushing job, I am well practised at doing things I would rather avoid. Also, I’m currently a full time mum to two little kids, so I really have no choice but to do everything I have to in order to meet their needs. Failure to do this would represent a much greater problem; luckily I am not in such a position.
So yeah, setting ‘goals’ felt a bit pointless because most of my day is taken up by small tasks that I would avoid (if I had that luxury). I live in a perpetual state of being outside my comfort zone.
I can talk the talk and come up with goals for setting myself more `me’ time or trying to reframe my negative thoughts, but the reality is that life is kinda something that happens ‘to’ me and once my little ones have been considered I have very little control of what I do or think about. Obviously I love them and cherish our time together, but it is rarely time spent in ways that I would choose. Getting to enjoy my children one-on-one is hard enough right now without trying to force in some alone time too!
Did I mention that most of my posts are drafted whilst breastfeeding…?
Anyway, this lack of autonomy will be resolved in time and I know it. But presently I consider that my problems are more emotional than behavioural. I can fight against my ‘flight’ instinct, but am not sufficiently equipped to manage the emotional fallout. I have an emotional resilience issue. And the result of this is my negative emotions spilling out into other areas of my life.
I only had a couple of sessions of CBT, but after each one I felt frustrated, confused, triggered – worse, basically. When I raised this with my therapist she made impractical suggestions like ‘go for a walk’ or ‘have some alone time after sessions’. I personally felt that the issue was predominantly her manner and/or the format.
BUT… rather than giving up on therapy completely, I am going to try getting referred for a different type of therapy next to see whether a change in format and focus will help me to find a more practical approach.
Wish me luck?