Self Expression Magazine

Group CBT Week 1

Posted on the 10 March 2014 by Tash Berbank @tdotberbank
Group CBT Week 1
Today was my first therapy session and I had been really looking forward to it. Recently I've been really positive, mainly because I've felt like I've been progressing but also because I've had a really good month. Aside from this morning's nerves, I was excited to get started.
I started to get worried while waiting in the waiting room. I was really embarrassed to be there, even though I knew that everyone else there was for the same thing, and had the same feelings as me. The therapists collected us at 2pm and took us to the light, airy room we'd be having our meeting in. The chairs were arranged in a semi circle and immediately I was put off. I don't know how I expected them to be arranged or how else they could be arranged but it really freaked me out. It was so open. I wanted to hide and observe.
We sat down and started by filling out the usual questionnaires about how we'd been feeling the last couple of weeks. If you ever do therapy you'll get used to these!
Then we had to introduce each other. It was awful. Like my worst nightmare. We had to get into pairs and speak to our partner, finding out their name and a fact about them. Then we had to introduce them. I really didn't expect this. They said we could talk as little or as much as we liked, which was a lie, we had to speak from the start. Even though we didn't have to say much, I was already annoyed. I think that's what threw me off.
The good thing about the group was how many varied backgrounds people were from. There was 6 of us in total, and ages ranged from late teens to the very elderly. It was interesting to see how people from every age in life was affected by anxiety.
Today's session was an introduction to CBT, helping us to understand what it was and how anxiety works. It became clear we were expected to share examples of our feelings. I felt so pressured to contribute that that immediately made me not want to. The one time I did summon the courage to speak, the psychologist gave me a funny look and asked if I was relating to what everyone else had said. Clearly nobody really related to my comment. It felt just like being at school again when I'd said something stupid. It was so embarrassing I didn't want to be there at all.
At the end of the session we had to fill in a sheet about how the session went and what we'd learnt. I didn't know what to say really. I hadn't learnt anything, it was only an introductory session. I already know that other people suffer with it, I know what my feelings are, so what was I meant to say? We then had to take it in turns to read out what we'd written. So I just said that it was good to hear my thoughts coming from other people's mouths.
I was so glad when it was over. I couldn't wait to get out and I am already dreading going back next week. Being part of a group is what has been making me feel so anxious, so I don't know how its going to make me feel better. But it's early days yet, hopefully next week will be better. I'll keep you updated.
Group CBT Week 1

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