Thursday, 10 May 2007

CBT third session

I cheated a bit on my thought diary. I only started filling it in last week, and I backtracked because I didn't want Doreen to think I wasn't trying.

As usual she asked me how I'd been and I told her truthfully that writing down my negative thoughts and looking at the evidence that supported those thoughts has made me realise how anxious I am about everything, even when there's no evidence that what I fear will happen.
"None of us know the future," she said. "Live in the now. Let's have a look at your thought diary."
"Worry over the observation was mega," I told her, "But the guy, the observer, never showed up. All that work and stress, and waiting for him to arrive, for nothing."
"That's very unprofessional," Doreen said. "What happened?"
I related the sorry saga of the non-observation.
"The good news is, if the observer doesn't turn up, you get your grade from last year, and I got a grade 1. This guy says he never gives grade 1s, but by default he's given me a grade 1.
"Well done!" she said. "But you will have to learn to relax and not put so much pressure on yourself. You don't have to be perfect all the time. You are too hard on yourself.
We went over various other negative thoughts I'd experienced, but the main one was Jon's release.
"I try to be positive and think it will all go according to plan, but the bad thoughts creep in."
"What's the evidence that things will go wrong?"
"Nothing concrete, but I don't trust the system, and I couldn't cope with the disappointment of him not coming home. It's all he talks about in his letters and phone calls."
"What's the worst that could happen?"
I couldn't tell her my worst fears, I just said, "That it will all be delayed."
"Well, if it's delayed you will cope with it. You've handled him being in prison for 5 years and you'll deal with a few more months if you have to. The worst is over for you."
She made it sound so easy. I know I should think positively. I'm creating my own hell. We have survived this far. There's no reason why it should go wrong.
"You're right," I agreed. "But I won't feel at peace until he's back on English soil."
"You're doing well recognising the negative thoughts and trying to address them. We'll extend the diary further to take in new thoughts and emotions or feelings.

Copyright © 2007 Barbara Attwood

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