Gransnet forums


People’s experiences of counselling, CBT

(24 Posts)
This2willpass Mon 16-May-22 08:20:34

I have issues of anxiety and regrets which I need help with. Would love to hear what therapy helped you.

Kandinsky Mon 16-May-22 08:34:43

Sorry to hear you’re suffering.
I know how you feel, but unfortunately nothing helped me ( I’ve had counselling, CBT ) it just didn’t help at all.
I’ve just learnt to live with my regrets as best I can, not always easy but not much I can do if other avenues didn’t work.
I personally refuse to go on anti depressant medication though, but that’s just me.
CBT & medicine are a great help to many people, literally life savers in some cases, so don’t rule anything out - just be aware that not all help ‘helps’ - sorry to be a bit negative but just giving my experience.

Chardy Mon 16-May-22 08:49:25

Imo different treatments help different people. Or even the same people at different times in their life.
I speak from experience as I know things that haven't worked for me have been beneficial to others

Marydoll Mon 16-May-22 09:00:05

I had counselling as part of my cardiac rehabilitation. Initially, I strongly resisted, but eventually agreed to go, to help me come to terms with my poor prognosis.
It helped enormously, but did open a can of worms about my parents and childhood. I spoke about feelings, I had never shared with anyone. Once I started, everything I had kept deep inside me, spilled out. It was very painful, but cathartic.

This2willpass Tue 17-May-22 16:02:51

Anymore experiences please

wildswan16 Tue 17-May-22 16:29:39

First you need to find a recommended therapist affiliated to the appropriate professional body. CBT and counselling both need you to do "the work", be prepared to find it difficult and see it through to when you and your therapist feel it is completed.

Both methods have their successes and it is really up to you which help you think more appropriate. If there are issues in your past which are troubling you then person-centred counselling may be the way to go. Unfortunately NHS based counsellors are often limited to six or so sessions. Often this is insufficient and you may be better doing this privately.

Any good therapist will talk through your difficulties and advise on what she thinks will help you best before you embark on a course of meetings.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 17-May-22 16:33:07

I have depression and have taken antidepressants for many years. They really changed my life. I’ve never had any form of therapy and I don’t think I would want to as I’m quite a private person, but that’s just me.

mrshat Tue 17-May-22 17:08:08

What wildswan said. I would recommend CBT but it can be (is) hard work but worth it.

Scribbles Tue 17-May-22 17:42:25

My husband died following an RTC in Jan 2020. During the next few months, I had weekly grief counselling sessions over the phone which helped me cope with the raw grief and loneliness.

However, after the sessions ended, I spiralled into a terrible depression, combined with sheer blinding rage - not at OH for dying but with the government for their never ending lockdowns and 'tiers' and ludicrous edicts that meant, at a time I've never needed them more, I couldn't be with and hug my friends.

The nurse-counsellor at my GP surgery prescribed antidepressants which I was reluctant to take. Quite rightly, as it turns out because the first dose induced alarming tachycardia and I was sure I was going to die. I refused to take any more or to try a different medicine. The nurse then referred me to the county mental health service where I was promised a course of CBT- by -phone although nobody could tell me how long I might have to wait.

By January 2021, I was closer to suicide than I'd been for 50 years and terrified of what was happening to me.

I went to the BACP website and searched for local therapists who specialise in CBT and anger management. I read all the profiles and chose one whose approach I felt would be the most helpful and empathetic. He was also seeing clients in his office face to face at a time when most therapists were Zooming and Facetiming which I utterly loathe.

It was the correct choice; he has been so helpful and I can't describe the difference it has made to me.
At first, it was weekly sessions of mindfulness training and meditation then CBT.

It's weird; I can't begin to explain mindfulness. I was deeply cynical at first but just training myself to take a step back, concentrate on nothing but my breathing and contain my thoughts has somehow enabled me to recognise what's important and let go of what's not. The CBT has helped me to understand much of what's gone on in my life ever since childhood and to manage my own response to events.

I still have monthly sessions which are now, mostly, just talk about where I am now, emotionally, and where I see my life going in the short and medium term. Alas, in the summer, my therapist is starting a three year sabbatical. I shall miss him.

Over the past few months, I've talked to a couple of friends who tried CBT in the past for differing reasons and didn't find it helpful. Neither has thought of trying again but my feeling is that finding the right therapist is a bit like online dating. You may not 'gel' with the first or second practitioner you try but there will be someone out there you can work with so it's worth trying again.

As for the cost - charges vary. Most therapists include their hourly rate on their BACP page. I pay £40 per hour here in the east midlands; you may find it more expensive in a more affluent area.

NotSpaghetti Tue 17-May-22 22:49:13

Two people in my family have had therapy - one following a disastrous relationship and one after a serious illness. Both found it invaluable but one changed practitioners as they didn't feel they were in tune with the first person.
Make sure it's someone you feel comfortable with.

Kate1949 Tue 17-May-22 23:06:01

I'm sorry you are struggling This2willpass I hope you find some help. I have had a bit of counselling and also hypnotherapy for severe anxiety. It didn't help me.
Thank you Scribbles for your post. I remember you used to post on here before. I'm sorry for what you went through. Your post has given me hope.

This2willpass Wed 18-May-22 07:47:00

Anyone able to recommend any self help books that will help with deep regrets, anxiety etc. Thanks for all the posts so far.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 18-May-22 08:04:19

There are lots on Amazon, and comments/reviews.

Luckygirl3 Wed 18-May-22 08:20:15

Both therapies' effectiveness depends entirely on the people administering it.

I had a lovely counsellor from CRUSE when my OH died. I have also seen another counsellor who was very good and helpful.

I am aware that CBT has been very helpful to many people. but I have to say that when I used this the person involved was hopeless. She sat at her computer, barely made eye contact and just asked me questions in a completely detached and uninterested way, tapping away on the keyboard. However the technique itself has a good track record and there are many books that take you through it so you can DIY - "CBT for Dummies" is one and definitely worth a look. You could put a toe in the water that way and see if it suits you. The CBT will try and help you to rethink your regrets and look at them in a different way - the principle behind CBT is that it is possible to train yourself to think differently about things. The aim is to put you in control.

I hope you find the help that is right for you.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 18-May-22 08:21:11

Also, why not try posting on some different threads for online interaction with people. There are lots of things to comment on but perhaps steer clear of the political discussions! The games can be fun. You could also post on Black Dog which is a nice little community of people with anxiety and depression, very friendly and supportive, but I’m trying to get you away from the anxiety a bit!😊

JaneJudge Wed 18-May-22 08:26:51

Scribbles, you have been through so much sad but I just wanted to say that I found mindfulness so useful too. I was also a bit hmm meh about it but went along to weekly sessions and it has helped me tremendously. I can calm myself down now just through breathing and diverting my thoughts and in a sense that has helped lot daily as I can divert panic attacks.

FannyCornforth Wed 18-May-22 08:35:49

Scribbles thanks

This2 I could be here all day, so I’ll cut it short.

I think that it sounds like you would be better of starting with person based counselling.
I have it privately once a week.

I’ve had CBT in the past, and didn’t think much of it .
I would recommend CBT for specific problems, such as phobias.

Look up Compassionate Self Care, and Compassion Based Therapy.

Also, antidepressants work for me, and have had a profound effect with DH who has been through a lot of late.

Good wishes to you. PM me if you’d like to.
Don’t be afraid to post on other threads, we’re a friendly lot! smilethanksbrew

VickyB Wed 18-May-22 08:44:29

Cognitive Analytic Therapy is a relational approach that considers how the strategies that we developed during childhood (in order to survive) can become unhelpful in our adult life. It looks at what others do to us, what we do to others and what we do to ourselves and helps us to recognise and change
unhelpful patterns of behaviour.
There is an excellent self help book; Change for the better by Elizabeth McCormick. Therapists can be found through ACAT.

JaneJudge Wed 18-May-22 08:46:01

Hello Fanny, I am seeing a counsellor too and she suggested self care. She said I have to think of myself as my own child and nurture myself in the same way!

FannyCornforth Wed 18-May-22 08:46:35

Thank you Vicky, that sounds very interesting
In fact, it sounds extremely relevant to me

maddyone Wed 18-May-22 08:48:54


I have depression and have taken antidepressants for many years. They really changed my life. I’ve never had any form of therapy and I don’t think I would want to as I’m quite a private person, but that’s just me.

Me too. But I have tried counselling but as Kandinsky said, it wasn’t really helpful. There are just too many issues caused by the poor parenting I received from my mother.

FannyCornforth Wed 18-May-22 09:03:52

I realise how lucky I am with my counsellor.
We have really clicked.
In fact we accidentally went 15 minutes over our session time last week, just chatting smile

FannyCornforth Wed 18-May-22 09:04:40

Maddy your second thanks from me today

maddyone Wed 18-May-22 09:07:13

Thank you Fanny. You’re very kind.