So, I attended my first appointment at Yorkshire Psychotherapy for my assessment with Mental Health Nurse and EMDR Therapist, Dave. It had been niggling me all morning that I was going, mainly just lots of doubts about how I would find talking about my anxieties, and worrying if my mind would draw a blank when he asked me questions.
To allay my fears, I decided to write down in advance what my main issues were, how it makes me feel, what my thoughts are and what triggers these feelings. I found this preparation really useful as it gave us a starting point in the session.
Dave asked me questions about the things I had written to gain greater detail. He was calm and confident in his approach making me feel that the anxieties I have been experiencing are not the insurmountable mountain I have made them out to be, but equally understanding that my fears were real to me and nothing to be embarrassed about.
I completed some questionnaires that were multiple choice answers, basically to get a baseline of my mood, my beliefs about anxiety and worry and an idea of the frequency in which it affects me. Some of the questionnaires I answered were spread equally among the answers scale but on one of them I circled mainly 5’s and commented to Dave that I didn’t know what the questionnaire was for but I didn’t think my answers were good.
After looking at my questionnaires and also gathering lots of background information Dave explained that he believed that I have GAD, (Generalised Anxiety Disorder). He explained that my tendency to worry excessively was causing my anxiety. This completely made sense. I am undoubtedly a ‘worrier’ and always have been since being a child (Even my worries have worries ?). I explained this to Dave to which he replied “So what’s so good about worrying?” Wow…..here was the ‘penny drop’ moment…..I worry because I choose to worry. It is something that I can control, I just need help to learn how to control it.
We formulated a plan around my treatment and agreed we would do some CBT work around worry which in turn leads to reducing anxieties. We would then finish off with some EMDR sessions to deal with any ‘trauma’ (By trauma, I mean any negative incident that I have not processed properly at the time, that when I think about it instantly plays on my vulnerabilities).
So there it is – the master plan that allows me to dare to believe that with the right tools I can overcome the very barriers that have been holding be back for more years than I can remember.