Laura, 21, shares her experience of doing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety and OCD, both online and over the phone.
The aim of counselling and therapy is to provide a support system for somebody who may be struggling with their mental health. This can sound extremely daunting for somebody who may be reaching out for the first time (trust me, I felt this way too), so I’d like to share with you my experiences with therapy to hopefully help anybody who may be considering this as an option.
Why I decided to have therapy
Everybody will have their own personal reasons for considering either counselling or therapy – personally, I decided to look into therapy. I’ve experienced therapy twice and my reasons for reaching out were different each time.
The first time I had no experience with talking about my mental health and therapy seemed like a good option to educate myself and to learn some useful coping mechanisms as I was feeling anxious a lot of the time.
Everybody will have their own personal reasons for considering either counselling or therapy.
Personally, I found it extremely daunting when reaching out for the first time and I struggled with speaking out loud about how I was feeling. Because of this, online therapy seemed like the best fit for me at the time. Luckily, this was an option for me and I was able to complete my course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) online and receive updates from my therapist in an online setting.
Online therapy helped me to gain a better understanding about how I was feeling and it allowed me to learn how to cope with my emotions without getting overwhelmed by them – I think that if I had to verbally talk about how I was feeling during this time I wouldn’t have gotten the most out of my therapy sessions.
Online therapy helped me to gain a better understanding about how I was feeling and it allowed me to learn how to cope with my emotions without getting overwhelmed by them.
The second time that I turned to therapy, I was more capable of communicating how I was feeling, so I received therapy over the phone on a weekly basis. Phone therapy was suggested because I wanted to work with my therapist from home but I was attending university in a different city at the time.
This differed from my previous online sessions as it took a lot of mental energy to talk about how I was feeling, but I found that this benefited me more as I was able to get a lot more out of my sessions.
It took a lot of mental energy to talk about how I was feeling, but I found that this benefited me more as I was able to get a lot more out of my sessions.
Each week I received ‘homework’ to complete and we’d discuss this the following week – I found that this made me more accountable and I was more likely to put the work into improving my mental health. My therapist would also email me various resources to assist with my weekly tasks, which I found helpful as I could refer to these throughout the week and also after I had been discharged from the service.
Just know that if you’re struggling there are always options out there and you will get through this!
I hope that this post shows that there are multiple options for therapy and you can gain a lot from the services that are available.
I know that it is daunting to open up to somebody who you do not know, but trust me you will feel the benefits if you put the work in. I am not ashamed to go back to therapy if I feel as though I need it, and just know that if you’re struggling there are always options out there and you will get through this!
More information and advice
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Where to get help
However you're feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling. Here are some services that can support you.