Mental Health Monday: My first CBT session…
Good morning lovelies! I have had my first CBT session and I am excited to share my thoughts with you. A couple of weeks ago I posted about 6 forms of therapy you can use to help you with depression, and my 8 top tips on how to stay motivated.
Today, I’m tying these two together with the help of the skills I’ve learned as a result of my CBT sessions! I’ve had one proper session with feedback and so I’m on my second lot of activities to go through, and I hope that what I will share will help you to challenge negative attitudes and keep your motivation on a daily basis.
Obviously, I am not a doctor or a therapist. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety and want to access some CBT sessions yourself, consult your GP to find out which services are available to you. I’m in North Hampshire and the one I’m using is TalkPlus, so if you’re local to me then give them a google and you can fill out their online self referral form! when you book a CBT session it will either be in a group or individual. Most services should let you opt for one or the other, but it does depend on which service you’re accessing. I’ve managed to access individual sessions and I am finding them really helpful!
The CBT Model
In case you didn’t already know, CBT is all about recognising and understanding the relationships between your behaviour, thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. They call this the CBT model, and I’m going to attempt to draw a super helpful diagram to illustrate it for you.
You can use this model to evaluate the relationships between what you’re feeling and thinking and how you react. I found this really helpful to do because it made me realise that it is so much easier to actually challenge the behaviour for you to make a positive change to your life than it is to challenge the negative thoughts. How often do we get stuck in downward spirals feeling stressed and unmotivated? The trick is to change the behaviour and start making that spiral go back up!
Identify the behaviour you want to challenge
Separate your thoughts, emotions and physical feelings and sensations into the other three boxes
Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve written. For me, just seeing on paper it made me stop beating myself up over nothing!
CBT Activity Diary
Going forward, this is going to be the thing that is really crucial to helping me keep my motivation and to (hopefully) help me to recover from my depression once and for all. This is not just something to fill in for my CBT session, this is a tool to help me live my life.
You can do this for as many weeks as you like, but the idea is that for each activity you do (and this can be anything at all, I even had an afternoon nap on mine) you write down one word to describe how you feel, a percentage intensity for that emotion, and then you rate your senses of achievement, closeness to others and enjoyment on scales of 1-10.
So… an example would be;
Sunday 10-12, watched Moana, happy 80%, A(achievement ) 5, C(closeness) 3, E(enjoyment) 9.
Once you’ve filled out a week’s worth of activities, you can start to change what you do so that the activities you are doing give you a greater sense of achievement.
Find a weekly CBT activity template. I like this simple one, you can decorate it however you want.
Fill in the blanks, and start planning your time with more activities to give you greater senses of achievement, closeness to others and enjoyment!
Reap the benefits of a more fulfilled life. As I said in my post about keeping your motivation, if you tackle smaller tasks, you’ll feel the accomplishment you need to tackle bigger ones too!
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