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CBT intensive therapy first appointment

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Meredithshep
Meredithshep Community member Posts: 11 Listener

Hi, I have a video appointment this afternoon for CBT therapy. I feel very anxious about it and don't know how it will help me. I suffer PTSD, panic disorder, depression and anxiety. I also have several physical conditions. I lost someone I loved very much in traumatic circumstances, the run up to death was also very traumatic with lots of high anxiety periods and yet the death was not expected. There was an investigation and the NHS was found to have made mistakes in care and diagnosis and treatment, two hospitals were involved. I now find that I cannot go to one particular hospital without extreme reactions, both parents were recently in hospital and we only managed to get to the car park I never got to visit them because I had a melt down. I cannot be driven past the hospital as a passanger either without panic setting in, I avoid people and rarely leave my home anymore. Most relationships have broken down too. It's a very long and complex story but the top and bottom of it is my life has changed beyond belief, I have changed so much. I did have councilling but was then sent to see a phyciatrist who siad I needed Eye movement desensatisation treatment but no one is available for that at present so talking therapies offered CBT treatment instead then said if that doesn't work I will have to wait for the other treatment. last time I had therapy it made me so anxious and brought so many emotions flooding back that I am dreading this therapy now. I actually need two surgeries but have had to decline due to the fear of hospitals and mistrust of the profession in general. I don't know what to do, I don't want to do the appointment but I also don't want to be or feel like this forever. I thought physical pain was awful and debilitating enough but having a mental health condition has been worse than any pain I have ever felt. What should I do? do I tell them I will wait for the right treatment or give this a go and risk feeling worse again

Comments

  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 3,193 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Meredithshep, sorry to hear about all you've been through, it sounds like you've had an awful time of it lately. And I'm so sorry for the traumatic loss of your loved one.

    Is your CBT appointment one-to-one or in a group?

    If you feel up to it, perhaps you could go to your first appointment and talk through your worries with the person running it? You could write down what you need to say if that might make it easier. If you're able to explain your difficulties, they might be able to adjust the way that they go about things to stop you getting too overwhelmed by it all. I'd understand if that might feel too difficult though, it's not an easy thing to talk about.

    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Meredithshep
    Meredithshep Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    So it was a video call one to one, I sat waiting and getting even more anxious then bang on the time of the appointment the therapist answered to tell me sorry somethings come up can't do today so will do tomorrow instead. No sorry no explanation nothing. All this has done has reinforced how I feel about medical people

  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 3,193 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm really sorry that happened @Meredithshep, that's not good of them at all.

    Do you have an email address for them? Perhaps you could email to say how it made you feel to have your appointment cancelled so last minute and to go over some of the concerns you have about the CBT in general. It doesn't sound very understanding of them to cancel without an apology or explanation, so I can totally understand why you would be upset by it after having such a horrible time with medical people in the past.

    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Meredithshep
    Meredithshep Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Had my video call the day after and it was okay, I have another one booked and a course of 18 sessions planned. I am very worried that this is going to open a pandoras box of emotions though as they have me doing a diary and also plan on going into detail about certain stressfull times and events. I was told by the previous therapist to try to put those memories into a box in my brain and close it until ready to deal with it, I am not ready to open it but it does keep bursting open itself. I have become a bit of a recluse I avoid people and places that cause distress so know I need help but am not sure I am ready to leave safety behind.

  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 3,193 Disability Gamechanger
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    Well done for getting through the first video call @Meredithshep. It's not easy stepping out of your comfort zone especially after all you've been through. Is there anything that helps you feel safe when things start feeling too overwhelming? Sometimes it helps to have a little action plan or bag of stuff that can distract you or take you out of the moment so your brain can rest and reset.

    The person running your sessions might be able to talk through some strategies for times when the memory box does burst open and things become too much. Did you manage to tell them how worried you are about what's going to happen? Hopefully they can give you some advice to help keep you feeling as safe as possible between the sessions.

    Take each day as it comes and look after yourself as much as you can. We're here to listen if you need to chat about things or get stuff off your chest ❤️

    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • Meredithshep
    Meredithshep Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Thanks Rosie, I will speak to her about my worries. I did try to but it seemed like a scripted first appointment and although I could ask a question or two it was more her explaining the process and another assessment to decide how to proceed, I do try to controlled breathing and grounding when the box opens as advised by the previous therapist and it does help sometimes. I just want to hide in my bed with the covers pulled over most of the time, I am so ashamed of who I am now and my failure to cope.

  • Meg24
    Meg24 Community member Posts: 198 Pioneering
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    I'm a long term patient of psychotherapy, I have to sat this is a shocking way to start with a new client. It's my understanding that a lot of the new CBT practitioners have had very little training.

    I know it's very hard to get decent therapy on the NHS these days, I would recommend you keep trying, eventually you might find someone who treats you with respect and who you can trust. I tried several counsellors and a couple of therapists before I found the one who was the right fit.

  • Meredithshep
    Meredithshep Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Hi @Meg24, I don't know if it's the way this started or my mental health issues but I really don't have any faith in this therapist, the last one was wonderful but said I needed more intense help and she wasn't qualified in that area. Can you do that? change therapist or will I have to be discharged back to my gp and then referred again as it's been a 5 month wait for this one

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,386 Scope online community team
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    They should be able to change you or refer you on @Meredithshep, at least they do in my area. Unfortunately I know that availability is low in many areas so you may be waiting again. It's important you're happy with your therapist so it's worth asking though. Let us know how you get on. 🙂

    Community Manager
    Scope
  • Meg24
    Meg24 Community member Posts: 198 Pioneering
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    You might have to find a GP who understands why it's important to see someone you trust, it sounds obvious but you'd be shocked at how many GPs and even MH professionals don't get that. Some people are not ready for therapy or are resistant to it so it's common for therapists to be rejected by patients, however you have already been able to trust someone you saw previously so that's obviously not an issue for you, it might be worth mentioning that to the GP, that it's just this person who you haven't gelled with.

    It will be a case of what's available in your area, someone should be able to provide you with a list of services you are able to request a referral to, then you will go on a waiting list for a referral appointment, the therapist should meet with you and discuss whether they can offer you treatment based on their assessment of your needs and whether what they do is useful to you. Then you will go back on the waiting list to wait for an available regular appointment. It doesn't happen like this in all areas though so you can ask what the system will be for you. Unfortunately long waits or limited services are normal now, always were really - I had to wait for 18 months for a slot for my therapist back in 2002/3. Getting the right one is a massive help though so I hope you are successful in the end.

  • Meredithshep
    Meredithshep Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    She answered the video call 17 minutes after my appointment time, I did tell her this affected my anxiety but the appointment went okayish as I explained my apprehension and she did help with that. My next appointment was made and the day after she cancelled and sent a different appointment day and time. I am going to change therapist if possible and if not I will ask my gp to be referred again. I don't think she's the right therapist for me as she's so unreliable and my mental health seems worse since I started.

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