My Therapy Experience

If you’ve visited my blog before or  follow me on any of my social media pages, then you will know that I’ve suffered with anxiety for over 10 years and have been recently attending therapy after being on the waiting list for almost a year. Attending therapy has been a long time coming for me, and after attending for the past 4 months or so, my time in therapy has almost ran out, which is a very bitter sweet feeling as although it’s brought a lot of my thoughts and feelings to a head, a lot has changed over the past 4 months. So, I thought I’d share my experience and some things that I’ve learnt throughout, incase you’re thinking of looking into attending therapy or simply want to know what it’s like for treating anxiety. 

Because sharing it caring, right? 

The Process… 

As mentioned, I was on the waiting list for therapy for over a year. I went down the NHS route over the private route, simply because I couldn’t afford to pay £100 per hourly therapy session. Although, that’s a small price to pay for your mental health being on the mend, It’s just not something I can physically afford. I don’t want to complain too much about the wait time, because the NHS Mental Health services are incredibly strained and when I first when through the therapy process when I was 17, I think I waited around 2 weeks, so I suppose in some ways, the wait list being longer is positive in the sense that more people are reaching out for help. 

Opening up to your GP is probably the hardest part, obviously, regular doctors & nurses are not trained in dealing with mental health illnesses. Personally, I do think that the doctors ask inappropriate questions such as ‘are you feeling suicidal or feel the need to self harm?’, opening up about this is a lot even with a therapist or a family member, so to have to admit it to your doctor who in 5 minutes time will close the door of their doctor’s office and leave you with nothing, that’s a lot to deal with in my opinion. When I visited my doctor, she was concerned and was aware that the wait-list was over stretched, so she arranged for me to visit every 2 weeks just to check in on me and make sure I was doing okay. At first this was great and it was nice to have someone to talk to that wasn’t close to me, however, in times of crisis and panic, she just didn’t understand and would literally shout at me  for worrying and stressing, so in the end I stopped attended and stuck to my medication and awaited that golden phone call to say a spot had opened up for me. 

My Therapy Sessions… 

Much like the first doctor’s appointment, the first therapy session is always the hardest. It focuses more on every aspect of your mental health, simply so they can pinpoint how to continue with the sessions and how they can measure your progress from start to finish. With my anxiety levels running high, my mum attended to make things easier for me. I find it hard to explain how I feel and sometimes get overwhelmed by it and stress out more than I should, so having my mum there to help me with the mountain of questionnaires really helped. 

Your therapy session are going to be personal to your own needs and what you want your outcome to be. My sessions focused on learning meditation and CBT, which is ‘Cognitive Behavior Training’. My therapist was honestly amazing and really got to know me and what worked best for me and most of all, she really listened to me, which is obviously what they’re meant to do, but it honestly felt as though I was talking to a friend rather than someone who’s being paid to listen to me. In the end, I loked forward to the sessions and it really settled me to know that each week I would have the chance to share and offload any thoughts and emotions that had been troubling me that week. 

What I Learnt…

During my first session, my therapist and I set some goals that I wanted to achieve throughout my time in therapy.

My goals where; 

  1. To be able to deal with my anxiety independently without relying on others 
  2. To be able to seperate myself from my mental health and feel myself again 
  3. To gain a better understanding of my anxiety & depression

I’m not going to go into too much detail on why these where my goals or what they actually mean, simply because they’re very personal to me and although I’m open and honest about my mental health, sometimes I just don’t want to go into too much detail about the legistics of it all, you know? 

I really wanted to achieve a better understanding of my mental health and meditation/relaxation techniques that would work best for me and my lifestyle and my therapist made it really easy to find what techniques I found most helpful. 

My Overall Experience…

I went into therapy knowing that it was going to ‘cure’ me, It’s simply a process to go through so that I can deal with my problems better on a day-to-day basis, as at my point of applying for therapy in 2017, I could barely get out of bed, socialise or keep my shit together. So, just keep in mind that therapy is not a cure, it’s a place to open up and learn how to cope. 

My overall experience was very positive, I got on amazingly with my therapist, and I’d honestly never be able to put into words just how much she helped me and gave me the tools I needed to make it through each day. Although I still deal with and struggle with my Anxiety & Depression, I’m educated about it and I know that It’s okay to feel how I feel. Whereas before therapy I would try to hide everything and then have a meltdown when it all got too much/ IF you’re reading this and you’re considering therapy, I strongly urge you to look into it. If you’re strugling but are not yet ready to take the leap into therapy, here’s some apps that I find helpfull for on-the-go or at home 

  • Headspace (my fave) 
  • Pillow (good for sleep tracking if you’re struggling to sleep) 
  • Calm 
  • Happy Not Perfect (good for breathing and meditation)

If you have any other helpful apps or websites, please share them in the comments below, I love trying new apps and hopefully they could help others too. 

Until next time x 

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