CBT and counselling are used to support anyone with anxiety, depression or other mental health problems. They are both forms of talking therapy. In both of these, you and your therapist will work together. During your CBT session you will work with your therapist to change your thought pattern, behaviour or they will often give you ‘homework’ to do and exercises to complete in between sessions. This could be doing something you enjoy doing at least once a day. Counselling is less directive. It is more talking through feelings and emotions to understand yourself better and learn ways to deal with your current state of mind.

Before this point, I have never had any sort of therapy so I was clueless. My GP suggested I speak to someone and directed me toward the ‘Mind’ website. As well as a website called ‘Moodjuice’.  I searched and searched before finding a private therapist. The details of this therapist were passed on to me by someone I knew. I called and had an initial session over the phone, I don’t remember much from it other than crying. Most therapists don’t always do an initial over the phone session but I had one before seeing her face to face. When I met her, I cried the whole session. She asked about my life, my family, my friends, and my childhood. Everything. I felt like I shared my entire life story with her in the space of 50 minutes whilst pausing to let my tears out. She listened, I liked her. She wrote down some stuff and told me that she will get back to me as to whether my future sessions would be with her or another therapist from her team of ten. Having spoken to her over the phone, meeting once and sharing so much with her, I hoped that I could carry on and have every one of my sessions with her.

A couple of days later, she got in contact with me and due to her own availability she could not have sessions with me but chose someone from her team that she felt would work well with me. I just wanted to speak to her, and I didn’t want to start over again. I gave it a go and went to have six sessions with this new therapist. I cried every session, the tears did not lessen as the sessions continued, if anything, I got worse and worse. I kept telling myself I need to give ‘talking therapy’ a chance and I can’t just stop. So I continued until I felt like I couldn’t any longer. I didn’t connect with her, she didn’t understand me. Sometimes you share your deepest pain with someone and you wonder do they even understand you at all? She listened and at times she didn’t know what to say. She would always look for a trigger despite saying I don’t know why I feel the way I do. Of course, this is only natural to dig deeper into someone and find any other little reason that could have in some way contributed to their state of mind today. She was lovely but not the therapist for me. I felt guilty. I felt worse. I thought maybe nobody can help me. A friend of mine said that remember therapists don’t take things personally, it happens all the time and it takes a while to find the right therapist for you. So if I call and say I don’t wish to continue my session with her that she would understand, which she did.

I soon found another therapist. I also self-referred myself to see a therapist through the NHS – these tend to be 6 sessions and often there is a long waiting list. People suggested that I try it. I was crying all day, every day. I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. Feeling lost, desperate and in despair didn’t cover it. I wished I could disappear. I still do. I soon learned that wishing for things don’t mean they will one day come true. I kept going.

I am lucky that I have now found a therapist who understands me. Someone I trust. She listens and I know I have a long way to go but she helps to soothe my worries and pain. She gets me. I feel like I have built a connection with her. Words of encouragement and support always help. Finding someone who understands, helps.

It’s okay to admit you need help. Seeing a therapist should be no different to seeing a doctor for your symptoms of a cold. People see therapist but often don’t like talking about it and telling others because of the stigma attached. You think there must be something seriously wrong with me that I need to seek professional help. That is not the case. It is important to talk.

If you care considering CBT or counselling then I would recommend it. For me personally, I need to talk about the way I feel. It helps me. There are websites that you can search to find a therapist near you or alternatively you can self-refer yourself or your GP may refer you for therapy. You can have face-face sessions or telephone sessions. These are usually around 50 minutes to an hour. No longer. At first, I wondered why. I wished they could last longer but soon realised that having a therapy session longer than an hour is just too draining. It can be traumatic to sit there for longer than an hour, this risks emotional harm.


  1. Cackan

    I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent crying to therapists. During my worst episode a few years ago I think I was truly in too deep for the therapy to help very much. I eventually stopped going and just cried at home instead, then at another type of therapy (EMDR) which didn’t suit me at the time. More recently my partner found a therapist locally and although I did cry through most of the first few sessions she did give me some hope, and I have since made slow progress. My partner has even started seeing a therapist now! Emotions are so complex and a trained, outside perspective can be so useful for those of us stuck in our heads, circling through the same thought patterns.

    Thanks for sharing x

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