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5 Tips for Anyone Starting Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Anxiety for the First Time

    Are you suffering from anxiety or a similar condition? Well, there is a ‘new’ therapy that you should try out. It’s called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Actually, CBT is not as new as it sounds. It dates back to the 1960s. Unlike most anxiety therapies, CBT doesn’t focus on past experiences but the present. In this case, you can sit down with a talk therapist to discuss how you can respond to the current stressors that are messing up your life.

    CBT works on the basis that your thoughts, feelings, and habits are all connected. Therefore, changing one aspect could easily change the others. In the end, CBT gives you the skills that you can use outside your therapist’s office to address your anxiety. But before you start the therapy, it’s important to remember certain critical aspects, including:

    1. Discuss Your Objectives

    When going for your first CBT session, it’s necessary to have clear goals. You have to talk to your therapist about your expectations so that you don’t focus on an issue that is far from your target. So, you have to describe your problem to the therapist or provide proof that what you are suffering from is anxiety. Then, you should discuss your goals such as going back to work, quitting drugs or getting into a relationship.

    1. Change Your Thinking

    Anxiety starts from a single thought. When you feel anxious, it’s important to know the reason behind it. What are you struggling with mentally? Why are you feeling that way? Answering these two questions is key to changing your thinking and being able to start a successful CBT journey. You can even make a list of the specific stressors so that you can share with your therapist.

    1. Show Yourself Some Love

    When going through an anxious moment, it’s easy to get angry and to even show it in your first session. This doesn’t help but it only upsets your self-confidence. So, be kind and understanding to yourself as you prepare to attend the first session. Try doing something you love such as a sport or listen to music as you prepare to see the therapist.

    1. Demonstrate Patience

    You have to realize that it takes time before a CBT becomes effective. It’s not an overnight thing even if you are guided by a therapist. Using your goals as the point of focus, CBT will give you the skills that you need to handle the stressors but you have to be patient with everything.

    1. Follow Up the Action Tasks

    Towards the completion of your first session, the therapist will assign you some homework (action tasks). They are meant to help you manage the stressors on your own and to form the basis for the next session. Strive to follow them up.

    Generally, CBT helps you deal with all the stressors – embarrassment, pain, guilt, and fear – that are making you anxious. It’s a process that has proven to work over the years that it has been practiced. Use the above tips when starting the therapy and you’ll have an easy run.