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Online MobileChucko

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« on: January 26, 2014, 11:56:39 AM »
Hello everyone...

I am scheduled to begin cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), tomorrow afternoon.

I would like to hear back from those of you that have participated in CBT, what is it all about, and has it helped you with your anxiety/panic attacks/depression.

Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much...  Chuck
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 02:15:10 PM »
Hello everyone...

I am scheduled to begin cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), tomorrow afternoon.

I would like to hear back from those of you that have participated in CBT, what is it all about, and has it helped you with your anxiety/panic attacks/depression.

Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much...  Chuck

Hi Chuck,

I think the most important lesson I have gained from my previous CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) training is to focus on the present.  When my thoughts get sidetracked and I fall into an anxious state again, I have to find a way, with my CBT training, to let the past go, and to live and see life from the present moment.  Usually my anxiety gets triggered from some past episode, at least for me, and I just keep ruminating it over and over, and I need to stop it.

One important lesson I've learned from CBT training is to not over intellectualize the written exercises that I engange in.  After finishing a CBT exercise, my primary focus is to just feel better, and less so in understanding where my anxiety came from. 

I say this because it's a trap for anxiety disorder sufferers to intellectualize how their past formed thier now.   This is a trait we all picked up from psychology classes, as well as endorsed by Sigmund Freud, support groups, well-meaning counselors, and the self-help books market.   We have been almost programmed  to dwell on how our past, particularly our early childhood development, affected how we function as adults.  Due to our self-analysis, we then intellectualize how our psyches have been tarnished from past experiences.   We have a good self -analysis of our internal issues, but we haven't solved our anxiety problem, just added more psychological insight.

The past is over.  What's important is how we feel now, not in how we felt then, in the past.  The more we discuss the past then the more we just create it in our experience.   So when approaching CBT exercises, don't get stuck in past self-analysis, just focus on feeling better, now.  If you can forget the past, and just improve the way you feel, now, regardless of the past, I think your doing your CBT exercises properly.

Of course theses insights have just been my experiences.  I am in now way endorsing my CBT views on anyone else on this forum, but I hope some of that insight helps.

Steve
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Offline Lily120

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 02:15:59 PM »
Hi MobileChucko,

For me, CBT involved breaking down anxious thought processes and experiences, then taking small steps to change behaviors related to my anxiety. With CBT, you take one step at a time until you are ready to take another. I discovered a lot about my anxiety through CBT, how it functions, and how to move toward a different mindset in a way that works for me. Also, we worked on visual representations of my anxiety, and that was helpful too.

I wasn't able to do the complete CBT process because I moved, but I'll be restarting it hopefully sometime soon.
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 03:46:28 PM »
Hi Lily and Steve!

I wanted to thank both for you, not only for responding to my post, but for the "GREAT" responses to my questions!  Good food for thought...

I am looking forward to my counseling appointment tomorrow, to adding the new tools I will gather, and using them on a new path of life.

The very best to both of you!...  Chuck
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 08:31:53 AM »
Am only an amateur in CBT but believe in its usefulness. Wonder about your reaction. It takes work but think the brain can be reconditioned.

Now I still think we need an understanding of our early life and then learn to tell our brain, "That was then, this is now." I refer to the TEA format. Have an index card I sometimes carry around to remind myself of the "Error" categories conditioned in my brain.
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 09:09:55 AM »
Now I still think we need an understanding of our early life and then learn to tell our brain, "That was then, this is now." I refer to the TEA format. Have an index card I sometimes carry around to remind myself of the "Error" categories conditioned in my brain.

True.  We do need an understanding of how our past formed our now, as an anxiety disorder sufferer, however that is where most of us get stuck.  At least, this is my belief, because I've been working around my anxiety disorder for years.  Understanding a painful past is commonly known as forgiveness.  We see the past with more understanding eyes, however there is also another step, and that is forgetting.

Now is the only time there really is.   Why not talk about what is happening now, then what happened in our past, so we can reactivate it?  It's 2014.  This is now.  Experiences from our past don't affect us now, unless we keep on talking about them, and give them power.

However, this is where I am coming from CBT, and this view has been helpful for me. 

I also ask anyone who debates that we need to look at deeper issues with anxiety, so we can understand how our past affects our anxiety now, to please not join this conversation.  I disagree with that commonly held statement, and we will just have to be apt to agree that we disagree.   It's also the number one reason why most anxiety disorder sufferers choose to not take psychotropic medication, since deeper psychological issues need to be resolved first, and from my experience, I know that is a grave error to believe in.

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Offline tinam7

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 09:36:23 AM »
I spend time every day meditating to be in the present moment, to be forgiving and forgetting and find CBT very helpful.

But there is that subconscious (of mine) that seems to get a life of its own while I'm sleeping. Wake up and sometimes all the fears, the despair, guilt, helplessness (the Omnipotence Error, it's my fault, I'm responsible), etc. come tumbling down like a ton of bricks. Fortunately this does not happen every day. There are times when I wake up cheered, hopeful, I can live, breathe, take today and leave the past. The vast, vast mystery of our brain.

There is a comprehensive article about anxiety in The Atlantic magazine by the editor of the magazine (Scott Stossel) that may be of interest. Are there ways to simplify mental issues?
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Offline Abraham2007

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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 12:20:45 PM »
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Quacks prey on us Anxiety Disorder sufferers as part of the Mental Health community, since we can be desperate for healing.  Don't be victimized, instead be EDUCATED about  QUACKERY!!!!! http://www.quackwatch.com/ 

Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 02:34:25 PM »
TinaM,

As you are probably well aware, I don't agree with Scott Stossel's views on anxiety disorders, based on my own experience in dealing with my own anxiety disorder.  However I think I should have been more tactful in this online conversation, and just kept my dissenting opinions to myself.  As much as I disagree with Stossel's approach to mental illness, I should be more aware that when I make a disagreement, or an attack on someone's opinion in cyberspace, that act may affect other people negatively, who look up to Stossel for support.

I also read the comments section of Stossel's anxiety article, and there are also differing views, like my own, on how others interpret his view points on mental health.  Yet there are a lot of readers who benefited from what he wrote, and if you did, please know he can definitely be of help to anyone on their path to manage their own anxiety disorder.  If you were planning to purchase his latest book on anxiety, please do not let my negative banter affect your decision making, if you could benefit from his work.


Steve


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Quacks prey on us Anxiety Disorder sufferers as part of the Mental Health community, since we can be desperate for healing.  Don't be victimized, instead be EDUCATED about  QUACKERY!!!!! http://www.quackwatch.com/ 

Offline tinam7

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 05:24:41 PM »
Steve, please know I understand your position and respect it. It is shared by many. No reason to keep your dissenting views to yourself. Open, honest discussion can bring good results.

The article is enough for me, don't need his book. I thought it admirable that someone in his position comes forward in this way. And I hope you'll always contribute your knowledge and experience. That's how we learn. Our ability to learn is one of our brain's great gifts and we have this wonderful forum to help us learn. Truth is I'm all enamored with our brain. Try to read these scientific books but most of it flies right over my head. Never mind, I keep trying.

Will Chuck return, or have we usurped his thread? He'll forgive us.
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Offline scb07d

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 01:32:22 PM »
I think in the coming decades more people will become aware of the fact that you cannot easily control anxiety/depressive symptoms.

CBT is based on the idea that a person can deliberately change how they're feeling by "adjusting" their thoughts internally. It's useful to explore CBT I think, but I don't believe it actually works. That is, I don't think Cognitive Restructuring actually works. It's probably more effective to adopt a view of Mindfulness in relation to uncomfortable events and focus on concrete actions.

The problem is the same as with other proposed solutions though... people are always willing to try something new to fix how they feel. So you try it for 6 months, maybe you see some improvement, but you can't legitimately say the improvement was caused by the CBT... you spend a bunch of money and move on to the next thing.

 
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2014, 07:50:18 AM »
Does CBT work? Is dealing with our brain easy? Does Mindfulness work? What are concrete actions in relation to anxiety/depression? My expenditures have been moderate and I am not ready to move on and close this door.

The problem with CBT, as I see it, is that it requires work, attention, effort, persistence. But it also offers hope, optimism and the possibility of transforming our brain into a friend at least some of the time.
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 07:50:18 PM »
Hey chuck,

I'm starting mine too, had my first orientation today. Just in two hours I felt like he connected with me so well. I'm curious as to how yours will go. Keep us updated.
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Offline BusuB

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Re: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy...
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2014, 05:58:21 PM »
After not reading everyone else's response, here's my experience.  It's helpful.  It doesn't necessarily get rid of anxiety, so to speak (obviously with me being here), but it makes it more.... acceptable.  As in, I don't freak out over it.  Don't get me wrong it's still uncomfortable, and I'm still looking for ways to reduce my overall anxiety levels, but it has helped me cope with it much better.  Rather than stewing on a setback for weeks like I used to do, it's been reduced to days, or hours even.  It's helped me return to work even when my anxiety is at high levels.  Panic attacks don't knock me out of the game for days at a time anymore. So yeah, it's helpful.
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