Realising the need for therapy is an amazing first step towards healing, and we really do believe CBT can be the best answer for some people.
However, we know it can be daunting, especially when it’s your first time.
So, to help calm any worries or clear any uncertainties you may have, we’ve outlined a clear picture of what to expect.
Firstly, what is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an effective combination of talk therapy and behavioural therapy. It is one of the most widely used treatments for a range of different mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
During CBT, patients have the opportunity to work with a therapist to find the source of negative thinking or behaviour, and the ultimate goal is to replace them positive and productive actions, helping to over-come any difficult moments. Therefore, unlike other talk therapies, it is more focused on the present and the future, rather than the past.
At the beginning of your first session, you will be eased in gently. Your therapist will introduce themselves and will give you a chance to do the same; they may just ask some simple and general questions about you – perhaps your profession, and where you are from, etc. Once you’ve had a little easy chat with one another, you’ll likely be feeling much more comfortable and more ready to begin.
Mental Health Assessment
The therapist will continue to ask you question about yourself, but will begin to base them more on your mental health. This will be so they can get a more in depth understanding of your personal experiences, as everyone suffers with different mental health problems, in different ways. Being as honest as possible will ensure you’ll get the most out of your therapy, as the therapist can assess exactly what help you need. However, don’t worry too much as your therapist will not pressure you to disclose anything you may not wish to, until you are ready.
Once your therapist has got to know you and your experiences in depth, they will begin to provide you with tips and methods to help you manage or combat your mental health issues. Coping strategies may include unravelling the cognitive distortions you may have, breathing or muscle relaxation techniques, using a journal to unload your negative thoughts and feelings, or exposure to things that trigger you, helping to come to the realisation that realistically everything will be fine. You’ll have the opportunity to try these techniques in the session with your therapist, but they will also teach you so you can do it alone whenever you feel it may be of help.
After your CBT session, your therapist may give you a worksheet or a list of things to do in your own time, to perpetuate the learning and healing. The practical nature of the therapy means that you can integrate your new strategies into your day-to-day life. Consistently practicing CBT techniques outside of your sessions will help you to make the most of your treatment.
Feeling nervous about your first therapy session is completely normal.
The good news is that at Dr Julian, all our CBT therapists are highly trained and will do all they can to make sure you feel comfortable every step of the way.
To make your experience of CBT even more pleasant and less daunting, we offer video therapy in the comfort of your own home. You have instant access to therapists, whenever you want, and wherever you want.
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