CBT, can I talk about anything?

H

HereComesTheRain

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
7
#1
I recently started CBT and know that a part is that during sessions I discuss my homework with therapist and plan stuff to attempt for next time.

But during the actual sessions sometimes I just want to get off my chest stuff I've had bottled up for years and get out how I'm feeling. I'm not comfortable revealing stuff to friends especially about how low I've felt and dark thoughts etc so I guess with the opportunity there to open up to someone, the floodgates open and it feels almost confessional.

My question is, would this sort of stuff be 'off topic' for CBT and are sessions only supposed to be about planning how to improve?

I don't want to begin baring my soul if I'm going to get cut short and only supposed to be talking about the previous week.

Want to get the most out of the CBT but now I've started opening up to someone I feel like I am going to have to get the genie back in the bottle.
 
V

violetmarisa

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
102
#2
I would discuss this with your therapist, tell them you have other topics that you need to discuss. I don't think they would cut you off, I feel like therapy is a combination of past and present. cbt helps with building positive thinking patterns but to heal from past wounds we need the freedom to get the past of our chests.
 
H

HereComesTheRain

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
7
#3
It's more about knowing what's irrelevant to bring up and what is useful for therapist to know.

Therapist just allows me to talk without interrupting but if more time should be spent on the fixing of things, then I will concentrate on that.

I wish all this was easier!
 
I

itsrek

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Messages
26
#4
I've been in CBT for some time now and we tried to 'get to the things' immediately but I then couldn't handle the pressure and fell quiet so she changed her approach and we did exactly what you would like to do - just get things out. I suppose it depends on the therapist but mine understood that it would be a bit too much for me to be forced to deal with the original problem immediately and therefore she took the longer road that has proven to work well for me - making sure that I feel ok talking to her, trust her and now only rather recently we have started to work on the original issues and I feel comfortable doing it and if I feel like it's too much I'm not too scared to tell her that. I would have been in the beginning and would not have gone back if she had pushed me too much. Sorry, a long ramble, but tbh I think just talking kind of is a part of it, if you need it to be. I needed it to have a 'therapist - patient' relationship and it worked. Asking her is also another option of course, yes :)

Hope all is going well! x
 
H

HereComesTheRain

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
7
#5
I've been in CBT for some time now and we tried to 'get to the things' immediately but I then couldn't handle the pressure and fell quiet so she changed her approach and we did exactly what you would like to do - just get things out. I suppose it depends on the therapist but mine understood that it would be a bit too much for me to be forced to deal with the original problem immediately and therefore she took the longer road that has proven to work well for me - making sure that I feel ok talking to her, trust her and now only rather recently we have started to work on the original issues and I feel comfortable doing it and if I feel like it's too much I'm not too scared to tell her that. I would have been in the beginning and would not have gone back if she had pushed me too much. Sorry, a long ramble, but tbh I think just talking kind of is a part of it, if you need it to be. I needed it to have a 'therapist - patient' relationship and it worked. Asking her is also another option of course, yes :)

Hope all is going well! x
Thanks, yeah I'm not wanting to spend the hour chatting about the weather and sort of ready now to go into a bit more of my background that I feel might be contributing to my mindset.
I understand obviously that we need to make progress and into the mechanics of how it's going to work for me - but given the environment and opportunity to talk to someone for the first time about some stuff, I feel that it might be useful that the therapist is given this insight rather than build the framework on half a picture. Or does it matter? Not sure if it's a 'one size fits all' sort of therapy that means regardless of what's brought you there, the method remains the same?
 
I

itsrek

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Messages
26
#6
I think it mostly depends on the therapist. I am sure there are many therapists that want to strictly stay on the plan, but also many that are very flexible and enable you to lead it to where you need it to be. I mean, talking about the weather and not very important stuff was how I got through the first like..half a year? And even though she did remind me sometimes that we could possibly be on the topic a bit more, it was never a problem when I just needed some more time to get to things. It still isn't. So I would say a therapist that understands you and woks with you well, should be able to understand and be flexible. I guess CBT is very much a certain way of treating people, but many of the therapists are fluent in more than one way of treating people and I would say that a mix of it is what is doing it for me. I get some support, I get to talk about stuff that I've never talked about and also we are dealing with the anxiety using CBT methods. I am sure this is taking longer than if I was very strongly just focused on the CBT, but I also know that I would have quit if she would have pushed me too much. So all in all I think it's something that really much depends on the therapist you are seeing and you will get the the clearest answers if you discuss it with him/her!
 
H

HereComesTheRain

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
7
#7
I think it mostly depends on the therapist. I am sure there are many therapists that want to strictly stay on the plan, but also many that are very flexible and enable you to lead it to where you need it to be. I mean, talking about the weather and not very important stuff was how I got through the first like..half a year? And even though she did remind me sometimes that we could possibly be on the topic a bit more, it was never a problem when I just needed some more time to get to things. It still isn't. So I would say a therapist that understands you and woks with you well, should be able to understand and be flexible. I guess CBT is very much a certain way of treating people, but many of the therapists are fluent in more than one way of treating people and I would say that a mix of it is what is doing it for me. I get some support, I get to talk about stuff that I've never talked about and also we are dealing with the anxiety using CBT methods. I am sure this is taking longer than if I was very strongly just focused on the CBT, but I also know that I would have quit if she would have pushed me too much. So all in all I think it's something that really much depends on the therapist you are seeing and you will get the the clearest answers if you discuss it with him/her!
Well last session the therapist has asked if I've changed my mind about going on a course of antidepressants (I'd rather not) and also said she was concerned that I may not be able to successfully take part in the CBT since my mood was too low.

I feel like I don't have a choice now. I think I need to explore my options if that's the case, and hopefully not be left in limbo with no help at all. I feel that I want to get off my chest all the big root causes of what I think has shaped me and fed my depression but I guess, rightly so, that the therapist wants to just focus on the homework. It takes a lot for me to open up and since I've started CBT I have felt like the lid is off Pandoras box and I feel very vulnerable. I'm not sure that medication is going to be the "fix" here.

Just feeling very trapped and while hoping that things can improve for me, worried that I am going to be left high and dry with no one or nothing to help me.
 
I

itsrek

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Messages
26
#8
Ah, I'm sorry you feel this way! Hope things are a tad bit better by now.

Antidepressants might be something that would be a good help in the sense of getting you happy to do the CBT, but I'm not sure anybody should be forced to take them if there is a way to work around it. I personally have no experience with AD's and therefore am not fit to comment on it, but we did discuss me taking them in the therapy and as I stated that I'd rather work longer and have a bit of a hard time with it than go on the medication, that's the road we took. No regrets, but honestly, it's not been too easy of course and i'm sure the therapist is just trying to find a way that's best for you.

Did you discuss the topic with her/him? Ask if it's fine to take it slow and steady and just go through the things that need to be discussed before being very actively on the topic of CBT?

x
 
H

HereComesTheRain

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
7
#9
Ah, I'm sorry you feel this way! Hope things are a tad bit better by now.

Antidepressants might be something that would be a good help in the sense of getting you happy to do the CBT, but I'm not sure anybody should be forced to take them if there is a way to work around it. I personally have no experience with AD's and therefore am not fit to comment on it, but we did discuss me taking them in the therapy and as I stated that I'd rather work longer and have a bit of a hard time with it than go on the medication, that's the road we took. No regrets, but honestly, it's not been too easy of course and i'm sure the therapist is just trying to find a way that's best for you.

Did you discuss the topic with her/him? Ask if it's fine to take it slow and steady and just go through the things that need to be discussed before being very actively on the topic of CBT?

x
It seems my fears were right. Due to cancellations it was a month between sessions and when I went yesterday the therapist terminated on me.

My mood had taken a further drop and I was able to reveal the extent of my suicidal thoughts. It's her recommendation that I try anti depressants and I should be contacting my GP to discuss this. She also mentioned that it might be an idea to have a psychiatric assessment. This set off alarm bells, and having experienced in patient treatment many years ago, I just don't want to be in that position again. I explained I wouldn't want this as I felt I should give meds a try first before anything like that.

She explained she wasn't going to schedule another session as my mood was too low to benefit from CBT. So basically good luck and goodbye.

I'm not expecting anyone to wave a magic wand and 'fix me' but I left there thinking "What now?" and wishing I'd never took the lid off the box, wishing I'd not asked for help and then turned away. Ironic that some of my issues involve things like abandonment, but we never got to deal with that.

And yes, while she has to ask that I'm safe and that I will ask for help if I feel I am going to act on thoughts... By that point I guess I just said what she wanted to hear as we were done anyway, and being honest would probably mean her reporting it etc

Since this happened, I have not coped well and in some ways feel worse. I have nothing to lose in going to GP for meds but I feel so disillusioned right now and with no real choice.

I went into all this just wanting help.
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,734
Location
Europe
#10
I was going to mention that in my experience CBT therapists are not really trained to do more wide-ranging talking therapy, and so are unlikely to accept a deep discussion of personal issues. But I see you’ve already encountered a no...
 
H

HereComesTheRain

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
7
#11
I was going to mention that in my experience CBT therapists are not really trained to do more wide-ranging talking therapy, and so are unlikely to accept a deep discussion of personal issues. But I see you’ve already encountered a no...
Maybe part of the problem was that it was through my employer that I got the referral, so she had to stay on the CBT only despite being a clinical psychologist.

Maybe it was helping in the sense that I felt I had someone on my side, as I have no other means of support. Feel very alone now.
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,734
Location
Europe
#12
You can go back to your GP and ask for a referral to psychotherapy. There is always some help available somewhere, truly, if only listening ears on this forum! You don’t need to feel alone.
 
H

HereComesTheRain

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
7
#13
You can go back to your GP and ask for a referral to psychotherapy. There is always some help available somewhere, truly, if only listening ears on this forum! You don’t need to feel alone.
I went through my employer for the referral as I had recently moved and not registered with new GP. I have a mistrust of Dr's and feel I have to be careful what I say to them. It's hard to ask for help and to be honest about thoughts etc without the fear that they will lock you up.

This has prevented me from asking for so long. I felt positive initially at beginning of CBT and even when my mood went down, felt a sort of reassurance that I was attending and going in the right direction. Figured that while it might take a while, it had to be better than doing nothing?

I am urging myself to keep going and convince myself it's got to be worth a shot to try meds or whatever but at the same time, this is my life and I am investing my only hope in things and people who may not be able to help me. While I don't explore every avenue, that thought is just a belief. But if this is the answer despite asking for help, then it becomes a reality and I don't think I am going to be able to cope with that.

Sorry for venting but I feel like I am falling apart here.
 
M

mango22

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
48
#14
It seems my fears were right. Due to cancellations it was a month between sessions and when I went yesterday the therapist terminated on me.

My mood had taken a further drop and I was able to reveal the extent of my suicidal thoughts. It's her recommendation that I try anti depressants and I should be contacting my GP to discuss this. She also mentioned that it might be an idea to have a psychiatric assessment. This set off alarm bells, and having experienced in patient treatment many years ago, I just don't want to be in that position again. I explained I wouldn't want this as I felt I should give meds a try first before anything like that.

She explained she wasn't going to schedule another session as my mood was too low to benefit from CBT. So basically good luck and goodbye.

I'm not expecting anyone to wave a magic wand and 'fix me' but I left there thinking "What now?" and wishing I'd never took the lid off the box, wishing I'd not asked for help and then turned away. Ironic that some of my issues involve things like abandonment, but we never got to deal with that.

And yes, while she has to ask that I'm safe and that I will ask for help if I feel I am going to act on thoughts... By that point I guess I just said what she wanted to hear as we were done anyway, and being honest would probably mean her reporting it etc

Since this happened, I have not coped well and in some ways feel worse. I have nothing to lose in going to GP for meds but I feel so disillusioned right now and with no real choice.

I went into all this just wanting help.
Hi I know I am very late to the conversation. Just wondered how you are now and if you decided to try anti depressants?