Updated: Jun 22
Throughout my journey with anxiety, I was constantly seeking ways to get rid of it so that I could go back to being who I was and living life normally. That meant that I have the privilege of trying different talking therapies.
A little disclaimer: these are all my own experiences and my opinions. It is different for everybody.
Below are three different types of talking therapy that I tried.
This was one of the first one’s I had but I also had different counsellors throughout my life. The first was a bereavement counsellor as most people were convinced my anxiety was triggered by the death of a family member. The lady was incredibly supportive but I never really felt like we got anywhere. It was great to get things off of my chest, especially as a teenager but it didn’t make a difference to my anxiety at all.
I had another batch of counselling sessions a few years later and I found that it helped quite a lot. Again, it didn’t help directly with anxiety, but it helped me discover what areas of life I struggle in and what isn’t good for my mental health. That then enabled me to make the changes that I needed to in my life - particularly saying no.
I think people who experience severe anxiety, don’t like confrontation so often we agree to things and don’t voice our opinions. This isn’t healthy though as we end up suppressing a lot and that in turn makes us more anxious.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is something I tried multiple times (I have an article on my experience with it which goes into more detail: https://www.zortex.co.uk/post/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-my-experience ).
It is designed to help you deal with the thoughts that trigger your anxiety as well as providing you with tools that help you deal with the physical symptoms. Again, this was something for me that didn’t improve my anxiety as I didn’t feel that it addressed the areas that I struggled with most. I also couldn’t pinpoint a thought that was triggering everything and that too stopped the process from working. It did help me with depression though by providing a proactive plan.
3. Seeing a psychologist
I’m not sure what the name is for this kind of talking therapy but I suppose it could be something between counselling and guided self-help. Again, I’ve written an article on this that goes into more depth: https://www.zortex.co.uk/post/psychologists-my-experience .
This was the main thing that actually helped me with anxiety. The first stage was explaining anxiety to me in a way that I could understand what was happening to me. Then each session, I would get homework to do that would help challenge my anxiety in different ways which was increasing my confidence. I was also provided with a lot of tools that I could use to deal with the physical symptoms.
The main thing with talking therapies is that it heavily depends on the connection you have with the therapist. They may be good at their job but if they don’t ‘get’ you, then it’s unlikely to work for you. That doesn’t mean that the therapy isn’t good, it just means that you and the therapist weren’t a good fit.
It’s worth trying the different talking therapies that are out there as they can improve the situation for you and give you an outlet in an isolated situation.