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!

Step 1:

Identify the behaviour you want to challenge

Step 2:

Separate your thoughts, emotions and physical feelings and sensations into the other three boxes

Step 3:

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.

Step 1: 

Find a weekly CBT activity template. I like this simple one, you can decorate it however you want.

Step 2: 

Fill in the blanks, and start planning your time with more activities to give you greater senses of achievement, closeness to others and enjoyment!

Step 3:

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!

If you liked this, try…

How I use my bullet journal to be a better parent

CBT? Not for me! – #MentalHealthMonday

Mental Health Monday: Postnatal anxiety and me.

22 thoughts on “Mental Health Monday: My first CBT session…

  1. Sophie

    I start my first session of CBT tomorrow! Wish me luck! Thank you for this though, the free printable will come in majorly handy 🙂

  2. Sarah Barber

    Hi Sophie! Good luck with the CBT, I hope it helps you as much as it has been helping me! Have you clicked the link to get your printable straight to your email inbox? If you have any questions or want to chat about CBT or anything at all you can always send one of us a message! Thanks for commenting

  3. Lisa Pomerantz

    I'm all for whatever gets anyone to a better state of mind. Wishing you all of the very best on this journey! Mental health is so important. #fabfridaypost xoxo

  4. Sarah Barber

    Exactly! Thanks for commenting

  5. Flip flops or Wellies blog

    I've often heard of CBT but never really understood what it was. Good luck with using it, I've heard good reports for this before. #KCACOLS

  6. kateonthinice

    I have heard so much about CBT but this is so clear and I think it could help me so thank you #TheMMLinky

  7. Anne Stone Sweet

    My daughter did really well when she had CBT, it really does help. #TheMMLinky

  8. Sarah Barber

    Thanks Kate! I hope you manage to book in some sessions. I have a telephone appointment this morning actually!

  9. Sarah Barber

    Definitely! It’s a lot more proactive than other talking therapies

  10. Sarah Barber

    Thank you!

  11. Me and B Make Tea

    CBT can def be very handy. I've had a lot of anxiety related to a vomit phobia in the past. still do but i've used a lot of cbt techniques and various other things to help. one thing – turn the what if around. i what if A LOT. what if im sick. what if someone else is? what if i feel sick, have a tummy ache, feel funny blah blah blah. I now try and say what if im not sick? what if im ok and this day goes ok? it really helps sometimes #KCACOLS

  12. Sarah Barber

    That's a brilliant idea, I'll definitely try using that one! Thanks for commenting

  13. Lydia C. Lee

    That's quite interesting. I didn't realise what it was exactly. It's a lot like 'mindfulness' isn't it? #KCACOLS

  14. Sarah Barber

    Yes definitely! Learning how to choose your behaviours more carefully and the impact of them on your mood and general mental health! With a lot of mental illnesses you get yourself into a vicious cycle and this is really helping me to break that once and for all! Thanks for commenting

  15. Five Little Doves

    I've had CBT for the last 22 years and found it so helpful at times. I think it's something that everyone can learn from, even those who aren't suffering with mental health issues. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  16. Carol Cameleon

    I've experienced depression and I don't think you ever get away from it completely. So when I recognise the triggers in me, I'll remember your post, thank you. #kcacols

  17. Sarah Barber

    Thanks Carol! The reason I went to CBT this time was so that I could deal with those triggers before they became a problem and it’s definitely working!

  18. Sarah Barber

    Yes absolutely! Just learning how certain behaviours can contribute to a pattern of thought is really important. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  19. Anonymous

    I've had CBT, but I think I didn't put the effort in that I should have to make it work. I've actually found your post much more helpful and a clearer explanation, so thank you! Thanks for linking up to #TheMMLinky

  20. Sarah Barber

    Oh good! I'm glad you found it helpful – it's definitely something that takes a little effort so if you can get yourself to take that first step the rest will quickly follow!

  21. […] advised to self-refer to TalkPlus, so I did that and I engaged in CBT which you can read more about here (spoiler alert: it was really […]

  22. […] Mental Health Monday: My first CBT session… […]

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