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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, Oh My! What next to try?

Topic: CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, Oh My! What next to try?

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. CactusCookie
    CactusCookie avatar
    6 posts
    25 February 2020

    Greetings

    I am interested in reading the experiences or thoughts of others in regard to types of therapy.

    I have been living with depression and anxiety for over twenty years and started my journey toward recovery around seven years ago. I used to approach it with the aim of getting rid of it, but I am slowly accepting that I will probably be managing the symptoms for the longer term.

    I have tried a handful of different types of therapy, and medication. I used to have a lovely GP, but they have stopped practicing. So far I have tried CBT, Schema Therapy and ACT. I’ve had counselling where I talk about what is happening and how I’m managing it and they just flood me with abundant reassurance. I’ve kept structured and unstructured journals. Practiced mindfulness and the gamut of frequently recommended lifestyle adjustments. What next?

    I’d be interested to read about people’s experiences with therapy that isn’t CBT or ACT. Love it? Hate it? What have you tried?

    I have read recently about Narrative Therapy, for example. Anyone tried it?

    Thanks for your time

    • Croix
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      Croix avatar
      8501 posts
      25 February 2020 in reply to CactusCookie

      Dear CactusCookie~

      I'll preface this by saying everyone is different and what has (or has not) worked for me does not mean it works for others.

      I've had PTSD, bouts of depression and ongoing anxiety for a very long time. As a result I've been subjected to numerous medications and various therapies. Not always good. For example I was given an early version of CBT and it simply made things worse.

      Over the years I've been very lucky to find a psychiatrist who had been successful in bringing me into a more normal state. I still suffer both physical and mental issues, however they are mostly manageable and I'm happy with my life.

      His technique eventually ended up with an unconventional medication for the mental issues, and specific ones to lessen the physical problems (headaches, IBS and other things) plus talking. I'm not sure of the right technical term, but would allow me to go over the previous fortnight and say what had been trouble me, the intensity of my symptoms and so on.

      His approach was realistic and he would listen, offer some insights into why I might feel the way I did, possible ways of lessening those feelings and alternative actions, together most importantly with perspective.

      Frankly I'm not sure it it was therapy or simply confidence and trust built up over time hat allowed his approach to work. I do stress it took time.

      I'm not sure if that helps you, as I said everyone is different

      Croix

    • romantic_thi3f
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      romantic_thi3f avatar
      2547 posts
      27 February 2020 in reply to CactusCookie

      Hi CactusCookie,

      Thanks so much for your post. This is a really interesting question and has definitely made me think. There are so many different types of therapy out there that it can be really confusing to think about what's next.

      When I think about the ones I've tried, most of the therapists I've seen have generally used integrated approaches - which means they tend to use techniques from therapies depending on what feels right at the time. ACT and CBT can be quite different, but they can also blend together well. The other ones I can think of that I've used are EMDR, gestalt therapy, bibliotherapy, solution focused therapy, ego state therapy and mindfulness therapy.

      I think the most important thing when thinking about what's next is finding a therapist that really clicks with you. There's lots of research that says the connection you have with your therapist matters so much more than the therapeutic techniques that they use - having someone who you feel comfortable with but also someone where you can say 'this isn't working, I want more than just reassurance'. A good therapist will really listen to that and adapt.

      Also, as for narrative therapy - I have heard a bit about it but I don't have any experience with that one!

      rt

    • known
      known avatar
      9 posts
      3 March 2020 in reply to CactusCookie

      Hi CactusCookie,

      Hope this helps...I have worked in the past with a psychologist who has tried some CBT with me. I found that to be reasonably helpful for general day-to-management of anxiety and depression when it was under the surface.

      This year I started to work with a psychotherapist, and I feel that I am "going deeper" with this work. It is very visual, and I am a visual person, so I find it easier to talk about things. We are working on some past trauma—I decided after about 6 sessions that I wanted to face this trauma and work through it. It was the first time I felt (more or less) comfortable talking about it. I have a very good relationship with the therapist. I believe, long term, the work will make a huge difference. However, it is taking a short term toll..the past 2 weeks my anxiety and depression has turned up fully as we work through the trauma. The last session he noticed I needed some more immediate help, and instead of a usual talking session, he helped me to apply some more practical things. Informed by gestalt relational therapy, transpersonal psychology, integrative psychotherapy, existential psychotherapy, art therapy, and eco-psychotherapy, he describes the work as if we are meeting different "parts" of myself, listening to them, acknowledging them and giving them a new role (if they need it). For instance, I was having trouble speaking about things because my throat would tighten and it felt like I was suffocating. It would be so painful that I couldn't speak, I would just cry in pain, and I couldn't get help from anyone because I couldn't share what was inside. Long story short, the therapist helped me to meet that "part" and gave it a new role. Now I can speak about things and actually let them come out of my mouth.

      Like Croix, I do wonder if it's some magical time/trust combo, and I think connection with the therapist is most important.

      Good luck!

      1 person found this helpful
    • blondguy
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      blondguy avatar
      10196 posts
      3 March 2020 in reply to CactusCookie

      Hi CactusCookie

      There is ton of helpful support above with people sharing their own life experiences with depression and anxiety

      Just for myself...Its taken a very long time to realise that we can have some peace by....

      • ensuring we have frequent appointments with our health professional (even our GP can be excellent!)
      • using 'calm and genuine acceptance' where our symptoms are concerned
      • being able to 'really' cry with our doc/counsellor does provide peace..albeit embarrassing and awkward
      • recovery does require determination, time and strong will to heal..Thankyou and welcome Known :-)

      my kind thoughts

      Paul

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