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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

My first iTalk CBT Workshop

A couple of weeks back I had my iTalk phone assessment and the following week we ran through the options available to me through the iTalk service. Which were;

1. Online activities and discussions

2. Phone CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), one to one discussions

3. CBT workshops

I opted for the workshops, as this provided me with the most contact time and hopefully a chance to talk with other people going through a similar struggle. The online option did not really appeal to me. While I saw value in the one to one phone support, I thought I would benefit more from the additional contact time available in the workshops. The one to one phone support is still something I could access after the workshops should I require it. Additionally I was able to start the six week program the following week. Whereas the one to one phone support would have required a 6-8 week wait.

So this week I had my first CBT workshop. The workshops I am attending are called lifting low mood. They are 90 minute sessions and run for six consecutive weeks.

For me the first session was a bit dry with a lot of talking / presenting from the practitioners and not much from those of us attending. However this was the first session so I am hoping this is something we build on in the coming sessions.

My workshop had two practitioners and 16 attendees. I was a bit apprehensive about how many people would be there and if anyone would recognise me, as it was held at a local venue. So I did feel some additional anxiety prior to attending.

During the session I felt agitated a number of times. I found myself picking at skin on my fingers and playing with a pen. These things helped to keep my hands occupied, I think for me this particularly happens when I'm thinking or when I become anxious. I suppose it is a need to do something physical with my hands and keep them occupied, maybe? Through the session I wouldn't say I learnt much, but it did give me a few things to think about. I felt this was an ok start to a six week program and I like that we where given 'homework' to reflect on how our own experience would fit into a cycle that we looked at during the session in reference to a case study. I haven't done this yet. But I will do prior to next week, as we will be discussing some of our thoughts at the next workshop.

All in all I am looking forward to the next session and seeing how it goes.

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