Hi, guys. Today is my first day on the forum and I stumbled upon this thread. It disheartens me to think that some people have really taken to negative thoughts about CBT (but, honestly, I'd say I'm not surprised.. because it is in our nature with s.a.d. to have negative thoughts). I wanted to discuss a bit about my current treatment.
I live in South Florida and found an anxiety treatment center at the University of Miami. It's generally Phd students who are working towards becoming psychologists, but I must say.. my experience overall has been great. They are supervised by licensed professionals (so, yes, there are cameras involved but I tend to forget they're there). I began my treatment at the end of September so I've only been in treatment about 2 and a half months.
In particular.. I see a therapist individually once a week for about 50 minutes and I also joined the group session which is held once a week for about 2 hours. I have had many ups and downs (but fortunately more ups).
I have to say, that I can't imagine any other way to work on social anxiety. I'm 26 and have had these horrible habits since I was at least 5 years old. I fear embarassment and constantly worry about what others are thinking of me. Do they think I'm stupid? Am I bothering them by merely conversing with them? CBT helps put me in situations which I've avoided all my life... asking questions in a store, striking up a conversation with a stranger, and presenting in front of groups of varying size. Without CBT and without my therapists, I just don't see how I could have possibly performed these exposures on my own. I highly recommend it.. and if you're able, I would certainly attempt this with a therapist because reading a book doesn't give you the same push that maybe a therapist can give.
Essentially, I feel disheartened by others' negative experiences because I wonder if they were hoping to be "fixed" in a short amount of time. In many cases (such as my own) those with social anxiety have had the disorder for countless years and the thoughts and habits that accumulated over these years certainly can't be undone within a matter of weeks or even months. While my treatment is limited to a certain amount of weeks, there are follow-ups and I have been given the tools to work on reducing my negative automatic thoughts in the future. Therapy is only at a maximum a few hours a week, the rest of the week (and your life) is up to you.
If you're considering CBT as a treatment, I highly recommend it. But it takes a lot of courage, patience, and most importantly commitment. Are you ready to make a change? If so, CBT is for you. If not, it won't be successful. I hope I helped with this long post (oops!
).. if I can answer any questions, please feel free to ask! In conjunction with therapy.. I also have begun reading "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David D. Burns, M.D. and I am finding it helpful as well, so far.
"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." - Bill Cosby