Is this therapy supposed to be emotional and intense? And does it really involve talking about emotional past events in life that are very personal? I felt like I had to dig to the core to be absolutely open about my past which has haunted me, but I have always been able to keep it in the past and never let it affect me.
While it can be useful in understanding we're you've come from, this shouldn't be the primary focus of CBT. The rehashing/coming to terms with the past type talking therapies have a very poor record of success. Nor is knowing what triggered anxiety disorders particularly helpful. What is helpful is knowing how to deal with the anxiety when it rears up and bites you, and this is what CBT should be about.
The doctor also spoke about psychosis? What does that mean? He said he I do not have that
It means you are not psychotic, you're not operating in a different reality, not hearing voices in your head, etc.
but unresolved past issues that are triggering my anxiety
This may be true, but being aware of, or 'dealing' with them is probably not the answer. Knowing how to deal with anxiety almost certainly is. You can't change the past, only how you respond to its consequences.
Has anyone benefit with this therapy and have discovered relief from anxiety.
The cognitive and/or behavioral and/or mindfulness therapies have a similar rate of success as antidepressants. About a third of patients achieve very good to excellent results, another third get enough from them to make it worthwhile, and the remaining third might as well have stayed in bed.
I know I may not cure this, but I do want to be able to control it.
There is no cure, however, long remissions are possible, sometimes they will last for decades.
I am trying to stay away from anti-depressants.
Why? They can be pains in the butt to live with at times, but they aren't the tools of the devil that some would have you believe. They have been one of the main driving forces in the closing of mental hospitals and have significantly reduced 0119 rates.