We hope these client case studies will provide an insight into therapy and how it works. Although they have been written by us, they are based on real work with clients, although we have mixed things up a little and changed names so nobody can be identified.
How CBT helped Chris
Things had been a struggle for a while but the day I saw vermin in my flat was the day I realised I'd let things slip too far. It wasn't the mouse itself but what it signified. I had no motivation to go to work, take care of myself, let alone clean my flat, and I hardly ever saw family and friends because I was too embarrassed to have them round to my messy flat. I had always had a tendency to be pessimistic but depression had crept up on me unexpectedly. Having realised this I knew I needed to tackle it head on.
I booked an initial session with Catherine, my cognitive behavioural therapist, who described what cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) entailed and how it worked. Together, Catherine and I examined some of my specific and current behaviour and thoughts to try and identify a connection between them and my feelings of depression. Through this work, I discovered a lack of self-worth and belief about being 'unlovable' may have developed due to my father leaving me at an early age. This may have led me to give up on caring for myself.
Catherine armed me with a number of techniques to help me identify and modify my unhelpful behaviour and negative patterns of thinking, explaining how the negative thinking created and maintained my current difficulties. At first, it was hard to apply these techniques on my own but with practice and support from Catherine and with a greater understanding of my problems, it got easier and I felt better about myself and more able to cope.
Initially, I was quite nervous about coming for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) particularly as I knew I'd be asked to do some work on my own outside of therapy. However, Catherine was so friendly and patient and gave me time and space to talk about my problems that these initial reservations soon disappeared. Catherine worked with me to set goals and made me feel so comfortable that I was able to undertake tasks on my own in real life settings, which not only gave me greater insight into my difficulties but also a sense of achievement. CBT has helped me immensely and I really look forward to my sessions with Catherine but at the same time, I know I have some invaluable tools of my own to combat depression.
If you would like to talk to someone about your difficulties or issues please contact us.
How counselling helped Emma
Ever since the accident, it had never been the same. I felt anxious at times and as though I had no control over my life anymore. When it started to affect my relationship as well as my work, I knew it was time to seek help and talk to someone about how I was feeling.
I was nervous about my initial session with Patrick, a counselling psychologist, as I had never had counselling before or spoken to anyone about how I felt, but Patrick soon put me at ease. He listened in a non-judgemental way as I spoke about my past, and my current problems, and offered suggestions as to how previous experiences may affect me now. Having that space to talk to someone not involved in the accident was such a comfort and it helped me to understand my feelings better.
In the sessions that followed, it became easier to talk about difficult issues as I felt 'safe' with Patrick who was such a good listener. We discussed the coping methods I had employed since the accident which were causing problems in my relationship, such as constantly checking in with my husband to know his whereabouts at all times. By talking things through, I was able to make sense of why I did what I did and recognise how it was helping me or my relationship, which prompted me to change my behaviour.
I now see the accident knocked my confidence and brought home the uncertainty of life. In order to feel safe I had tried to regain control of my life by controlling my partner but, despite wanting to help me, this had made him feel smothered and caused problems in the relationship. Since this realisation I have been working on my issues with uncertainty and our relationship has improved dramatically. I still doubt myself at times and this manifests itself in my work but I feel more hopeful and am now even content not to know what the future holds.
If you, like Emma, would like to talk to someone about your current difficulties or issues from the past then please contact us.