Forum

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Hi All

It’s been ages since I’ve been on here and I’m after some advice.

I have had MS for 10 years and struggle with the toilet side of things, I (touch wood) haven’t had an accident in over 12 months but the fear of me having one has turned me into a nervous wreck! I’m constantly looking where the loo is and whenever I’m going anywhere I get myself that worked up I inevitably have to go to the loo anyway through nerves.

Anyway, has anyone ever tried CBT to try and help get control of anxiety/panic/fear?

Thanks, Helen x

Hi Helen

Never had CBT myself (but it was featured in my first psychology degree).
In general, it works.  It is particularly good as a treatment for anxiety.  It also works (in a modified form) for coaching in some forms of sport (and I say that as a former coach).
Essentially, the cognitve bit is directing how you think about your problem, and the behaviour bit is the set of things that you actually do to stop your problem getting on top of you. As an example:
"Constantly looking for the loo ..." as you put it can also be considered as a smart thing to do.  If you have ever gone into a US shopping mall, or a French hypermarket complex, finding out where it is is very smart.  Depending on your mobility, you could be 5 or 10 minutes from the loo, and knowing just where it is, and how long it will take you to get there, can be quite reassuring.

See, you were getting there on your own anyway.  One thing to steer clear of is something called NLP. It is a purely commercial technique, and it works for some things, but I have heard of one or two PCTs using an NLP practitioner to deliver "CBT" as a way of avoiding the cost of providing a proper service.

If you want any more, PM me.

Geoff

Hi Helen.
I had a course of CBT last year for anxiety and panic attacks. They were so bad, I became agarophobic, wouldn’t drive anywhere other than to work and back. I didn’t even want to go on holiday with my husband and children and tried to make all sorts of excuses as to why we shouldn’t go. It was dreadful and I felt like I was letting everyone down.

The treatment was very emotional, and there is a lot of “homework” that you’ll have to do such as putting yourself into situations that cause the anxiety (but slowly and at your own pace). You have to really want to do it though as you only get out of it what you’re willing to put in.

In total, I saw my counsellor for about 10 months, with fortnightly visits.

I’ve been dx with PPMS since it finished, and over the last few weeks, I’ve felt that the anxiety started to return. The therapy has taught me how to cope with it, and push it away again!

The one thing that I’ll take away from CBT is that it gave me my life back - sounds dramatic but it really is true.

Good luck Helen and let us know how you get on.

Anna.