Mental Health Monday: My first CBT session…


Good morning lovelies! 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, so 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! CBT sessions will either be group sessions or individual sessions, and being able to opt for one or the other will again 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!

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.
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: 
Click this link for me to send you a FREE printable pdf of the weekly activity template straight to your inbox.
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!

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I am well on my way to becoming a barrister, and hope that one day my little munchkin will follow in my footsteps! I'm also a wife to a Grenadier Guard dealing with army life, and I write letters to Olivia as well as writing for the amazing blog we run over at

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

  1. 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


  2. 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


  3. 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


  4. 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


  5. 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


  6. 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!


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