Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - Page 4 - Social Anxiety Forum

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post #61 of 361 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:54 PM
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I think the only CBT that'll work for me is, Cerebral Bat Therapy.
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post #62 of 361 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 11:43 PM
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I had some cbt experience and I think its a great way to gain some perspective but when people are trying to stuff ideas down your throat it can be hard not to push back.

I think the biggest prob with this therapy is the cbt lovers that use it can be detrimental at times if thhey lose sight of what their job is - to care and help people, as opposed to 'fixing' people.

Its easy to see why they take that approach when they gobble up this pro-cbt research and feel so compelled to utilize this new proven technique. It can create overzealous practitioners that are steadfast in their approach and perhaps missing cues from peoples nonverbal communication.

But ya kno I'm jus a mental out patient so who am I to criticize .. lol

Ive had a better time with mindfulness as it is primarily founded in honing a skill your born with, one I personally took for granted - your awareness. Had some serious doubts in the beginning but absolutely no regrets now. Hit a realization of my presence, the observer, powerful stuff.

Last edited by zorky; 05-20-2011 at 11:53 PM. Reason: perfectionism
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post #63 of 361 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 04:42 PM
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I'm trying out CBT for SA and I'm 21. I've only had 5 sessions I think. I'm the kind of person who think a lot and don't take action. I'm struggling with doing my CBT homework. Any advice for doing homework? I think part of it is that I want to avoid facing the fact that I have SA and homework reminds of having SA. I struggle with feeling ashamed and guilty for having it.
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post #64 of 361 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 01:26 AM
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I have been doing cbt for about 5 weeks and it has improved my outlook. I was extremely driven as my anxiety was so bad I could not face my therapist. With medication and exposure I have improved alot. A few examples of what I have done are: use public toilets, public showers, eat lunch alone in public area, talk to people at random in the street - ask for time or directions, talk to people I dont no in the gym, talk to people I dont no while getting coffee, basically getting more confidence. Initially I thought people would tell me where to go but after talking with many people I soon learned that most people are helpful and kind. I have many unhelpful things I must challenge but i must be patient and continue with my therapy. I only wish I tried this 30 years ago but I did not no this therapy existed.
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post #65 of 361 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:52 PM
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ive been in therapy for over ten years to no avail. maybe i should find another therapist. maybe a psychoanalyst. maybe get back on antidepressants. i sometimes think that therapy has done absolutely nothing for me. maybe there's no cure for me. maybe i just suck at therapy? maybe my therapists have sucked, i think that's quite likely. maybe my SA is terminal. where's the thread for self pity? for it is my only source of comfort in these dark times.
Psychoanalysis is a pseudo-science with little known effectiveness.

CBT therapists are not supposed to see you for 10 years. You should try seeing somebody else and plan things (goals, time..).
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post #66 of 361 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 07:21 PM
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I was just thinking of Edward Scissor Hands and The Hunchback of Notre-dame. They were both hermits who were too ashamed to leave their homes for fear of scrutiny from the public.

I realized that these two characters seem to be examples of people suffering from social anxiety, they were afraid to show themselves in public because they felt defective and almost sub-human.

I don't know, I felt like I had to post this because it's food for thought.
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post #67 of 361 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:55 PM
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I liked CBT a lot and found it to be the most helpful, however there was a point in my treatment when I found myself sick of chasing down my thoughts and feelings and arguing with them. Then I stumbled onto mindfulness therapy and found the gentle, non-judgemental observation of my thoughts and bodily feelings to be less of a struggle. So I use a combination of both, at times correcting my thoughts, at times just observing while also detaching from them.
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post #68 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 04:32 AM
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I'm in CBT therapy and don't think it works for everyone.

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post #69 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 05:00 PM
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(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Black_WidowBut would also advise anybody out there, who is hoping to achieve fast results from this type of therapy, to re-think their expectations. CBT is a type of therapy that requires both determination and persistence in order for the full benefits to be gained.
I have to say I absolutely agree with this, based on my own experience and also that of a friend who has been socially anxious all his life. We both tried CBT but had disappointing (i.e. nil) results. Being depressed while trying to get benefits from this therapy, even though it's also supposed to be useful for depression, seems to make progress almost impossible to achieve in practice. The same goes for expecting instant results!

All I can say to anyone not getting results is to maybe try and reduce some of your problems with medication first, if you can find anything that helps, and then try CBT again. Doing it with a better mind set would help a great deal I imagine. It can be too difficult while stuck in a depressive fog, and impossible if you expect it to be easy to do or give immediate results. I think it pays to remember that it's not going to be as easy as taking pills or supplements, but that it could possibly work better in conjunction with those.
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post #70 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 07:26 PM
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CBT only works if you keep at it.
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post #71 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 03:33 PM
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I've done CBT for a number of years. At first it worked pretty well, I think because it gave me a concrete practical approach, as compared to other therapies. Implicitely the idea was that by insisting on this technique, eventually all the SA-related problems would go away and I'd be "cured" of SA.

This might actually be the case for a number of people... their SA does go away.

But I've found, more recently, that CBT has a downside. Since it didn't succeed in making all my problems go away, then after a while this resulted in a sense of "failure", and started having an effect on my self-esteem. Because the truth is that because I've had SA since youth, avoidance of difficult situations comes naturally to me; and this form of automatic avoidance is very hard to change & reverse. So while my CBT therapist was telling me: "Change your thoughts, and your problems will be more or less solved", in reality I have had lots of real-life examples where this wasn't at all verified, where things were still just as bad. Obviously, my first reaction wasn't "something's wrong with CBT"; it was "something's wrong with ME!"

Has anyone else had this sort of experience with SA and CBT?
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post #72 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 09:21 PM
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I liked CBT a lot and found it to be the most helpful, however there was a point in my treatment when I found myself sick of chasing down my thoughts and feelings and arguing with them. Then I stumbled onto mindfulness therapy and found the gentle, non-judgemental observation of my thoughts and bodily feelings to be less of a struggle. So I use a combination of both, at times correcting my thoughts, at times just observing while also detaching from them.
Absolutely spot on. Thanks a lot of sharing this valuable advice. I do this too and find it really helpful. It's called "just being". You just stop the internal struggle altogether and accept things as they are. Painful feeling is just that = pain. You stop struggling with it and 1/2 of the pain will be gone. A mix of both practices is really effective. It is a good life saver specially in bad situations like sickness, death, interviews, etc where you have no choice but to deal with it
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post #73 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 08:21 AM
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I had some cbt experience and I think its a great way to gain some perspective but when people are trying to stuff ideas down your throat it can be hard not to push back.

I think the biggest prob with this therapy is the cbt lovers that use it can be detrimental at times if thhey lose sight of what their job is - to care and help people, as opposed to 'fixing' people.

Its easy to see why they take that approach when they gobble up this pro-cbt research and feel so compelled to utilize this new proven technique. It can create overzealous practitioners that are steadfast in their approach and perhaps missing cues from peoples nonverbal communication.
I was glad to read your opinion.

It's exactly like my own experience with CBT. This last year I've had to stop doing psychotherapy just because I can't stand it anymore to have some guy try to "stuff ideas down my throat", plus acting as if he knows a lot more about my problem than I do (even tho he never actually took the time to listen to the story of my life!).

He's so sure he knows because he's been told "SA is like this, these are the symptoms, so all you've got to do is get rid of the symptoms and your patient's cured and all will be well". Obviously, this quick fix approach would be tempting to anyone, it all seems so straightforward and efficient...

And just like you say, in the meantime the therapist is missing clues that might make him question his "scientifically proven" technique.

So in the end, if the therapy doesn't work, who's wrong: the CBT or the patient?
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post #74 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 05:29 PM
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What questions should I ask in looking for a therapist to help with my social anxiety?
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post #75 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 08:39 PM
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What questions should I ask in looking for a therapist to help with my social anxiety?
We have a list of five questions good to ask a CBT therapist here as well as a list of resources for finding therapist:
http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/therapists/#find
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post #76 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:23 AM
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CBT helped me the most when i actually went out and did exposures constantly, the thought changing part helped sometimes, but sometimes i still felt bad even after i countered my thoughts, what helped me the most was constantly doing exposures. Yeah there is a chance that exposures will make your SA worst cause you'll feel the anxiety more.

You could also try ACT
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post #77 of 361 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 10:10 PM
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request


can we have a DBT discussion thread?
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post #78 of 361 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 08:10 AM
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My experience


Hello all,

I often read what everyone has to say on here for advice, but never add my own input, so i thought it was about time I did that. I am 23 years old. I have been truly suffering from social anxiety since early high school and to a lesser extent since middle school. At the age of 21, I decided to start taking SSRIs without CBT. I took zoloft for six months, which worked well for me but stopped working suddenly, and then began taking lexapro for the 2 years following. The medication lifted me from the darkness that I was living in, and allowed me to start building friendships that I still hold to this day. Without that medication, I am convinced that I would still be living in isolation. Not to mention, it helped me get through college and eventually graduate with my bachelor's degree (i'm getting to CBT...).

So, at the beginning of this summer, after having graduated in December, working, getting accepted into law school and planning to attend it in August, and maintaining a successful and meaningful relationship with a great girl for over 2 years...I decided to start weaning off of the pills and try a more lasting solution. I purchased a comprehensive book on Social Anxiety and the CBT approach to dealing with it in around February of this year. I started the process of CBT on my own, then sought out a therapist to guide me along the way. Throughout most of the therapy, I remained on beta blockers to keep my heart in check (i get high blood pressure when i am around social situations), and to keep me relatively calm. It worked well. After around 12 weeks of therapy, I was confident that I would be able to live a happy and successful life without pills, once and for all. I was very encouraged by my success in controlling my irrational thoughts and disputing them. I pushed myself to enter stressful social situations in order to overcome avoidance. I was so motivated and encouraged that I decided to get off of the beta blockers to see what happens. I went to see a cardiologist even, and he told me that my heart was fine, and that i didn't need the pills. I thought my life was improving beyond my greatest dreams. For about a month and a half off of the pills, I did great. I was able to to anything I wanted to do. Then, suddenly, I experienced intense anxiety one day while hanging out with my girlfriend. I told myself that this was a minor setback, and that it would pass. Just to give you all some more background who are reading this, I was as dedicated to CBT as anyone could be. I have 230 pages of thought disputations! I even record my thought disputations often. To continue with my story, every time I spent time with my girlfriend, I was getting intense anxiety, and still am at the time of writing this. My therapist believes that my condition is caused by trauma, that because no thoughts appear to be causing my anxiety, that it is a truly physical response that i cannot control with CBT. We will be taking a different approach now. It is called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprogramming) which is most commonly used as a treatment for PSTD. I am very discouraged right now, especially after having been so committed to the latest and most promising non-medication therapy for social anxiety. I have made the decision, as well, to get back on Zoloft, as my condition is causing distance in my relationship with my girlfriend. Additionally, I start law school in a little less than 2 weeks, and cannot foresee that i will be able to focus on my studies in this state of mind. I'm not saying that i got nothing out of CBT, but only that it has not helped me resolve the one issue that is most important - my physical anxiety symptoms. If I cannot talk, think, or act how i want to because of anxiety, then i consider this therapy to be a failure for me. I hope most of you have different experiences with it than i did.

-Ryan
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post #79 of 361 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:04 AM
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I thought my life was improving beyond my greatest dreams. For about a month and a half off of the pills, I did great. I was able to to anything I wanted to do. Then, suddenly, I experienced intense anxiety one day while hanging out with my girlfriend. I told myself that this was a minor setback, and that it would pass.
-Ryan
Thanks for sharing your experience Ryan! It really connected with me personally.

I know many other people have similar experiences with CBT and it can be really frustrating. Even the proponents of CBT for social anxiety disorder recognize that it just doesn't work for around 40% of people, even people like you that have been so dedicated to therapy.

More and more research is showing EMDR to be an effective treatment for trauma, at least as effective as exposure therapy, possibly more so. You may find a significant benefit from it if trauma/PTSD is what is affecting you.

I'm not your doctor and don't know your full situation, but keep in mind that anxiety can come without any negative thoughts or in your case could be withdrawal from Lexapro, even many months after stopping.

When you say you did great for about 1.5 months "off of the pills", is that just propranolol or both propranolol and Lexapro? When did you start tapering your Lexapro and when did you stop it entirely? The effects you are experiencing could be withdrawal and you might benefit from tapering off more slowly (even as slowly as lowering the dose 5% per week or month). See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSRI_di...ation_syndrome

I know it can be discouraging when CBT on its own doesn't work for you. I had a similar experience. There are even notable social anxiety therapists who have stated that they've found that they do better when they take an SSRI. For example, Barbara Markway, PhD and co-author of Painfully Shy.

If sexual side effects from Lexapro are a problem, you might ask your doctor about the new SSRI Viibryd, which research shows has less sexual side effects.

As always, talk to your doctor before starting, changing or stopping a treatment.

I wish you the best in law school and life!
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post #80 of 361 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 12:03 PM
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I appreciate the response


Hey man,

Your response means a lot. I tapered off of lexapro for about 2 months, and then completely stopped it in the beginning of March. I got on Bystolic - a second generation beta blocker that is more selective than propranolol - shortly after, just to help me make the transition and keep me calm enough to give therapy a serious effort. By the time I got off of Bystolic, it had been more than three months since stopping lexapro. The 1.5 months that i was fine was after I got off of Bystolic, but I am convinced that it was a sort of placebo based on the fact that I was holding up well on a beta blocker alone. I don't believe that it could have been withdrawal symptoms. I'll look into your SSRI suggestion. Once again, I really appreciate the swift response.

Best of luck to you as well.

Ryan
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