Talking Therapies and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Following on from last week's mental health story share, I wanted to share my continued journey. I first reached out to my GP in December 2022, as I was already struggling a little. She was happy to await for counselling, before commencing on medication but let me know that if I ever changed my mind, she was happy to prescribe it. 

I ended up self-referring to the NHS counselling service, which as of April has been further divided into county areas, therefore I now come under Nottinghamshire. Apparently the GP can refer you, but my GP wouldn't or couldn't and therefore I self-referred through the link and information they shared with me. 

The service is called Talking Therapies and involves confidential treatments delivered by fully trained and accredited NHS practitioners, usually supporting common mental health struggles like stress, anxiety and depression. The service is available in person, by video, over the phone or as an online course. 

In January, I had my initial assessment where I had a 15 minute telephone call discussing my issues associated and making a plan of action. I had initially requested counselling but was advised to try Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) instead. 

It wasn't until the end of June I heard back from them to schedule some appointments, and I then started my short-lived CBT course. I had originally thought it was going to be an online group session as I am sure that was what I was originally informed, but I was quickly corrected. My sessions were individual 30 minute weekly phone calls for 5 weeks and I actually quite liked this method surprisingly. I was able to relax and lie down which I really enjoyed. 

Ultimately, following the conversations and my lack of closure in regards to my previous relationship, it was felt that counselling would actually be better suited, and I agreed as it was what I had originally asked for. I'll share about my CBT experience next week, but as of right now, I'm still waiting on further counselling sessions to begin. I was told I would be pushed to almost the front of the queue as I would be placed in line with where it would have been placed in January. I have since received an invitation to select an appointment but when I went through to the link, they'd already all gone so I am still waiting at the moment. I'll keep you updated when I do!