This was a big, deep session, I was very anxious over it. We went through mainly exposure therapy, and how I am going to do it when I’m at home, planning what days to do it on, and what time.
I learned a lot this session, mostly about how exposure therapy works ( I thought I got thrown in the deep end) but it’s actually worked as doing something that gives you 40% or such anxiety and doing that multiple times a week, for example, going the shop. We went over a lot this session, the avoidance hierarchy was the thing we went into a lot of detail, as you plan the exposure therapy around that.
This was something very new to me, even with my research of CBT, I didn’t know what this was at all. Avoidance hierarchy is a ladder, where you put on each step a situation and then a percentage of anxiety, on mine, the first step is to go to my local shop at midday when it’s not as busy. The highest is talking to a total stranger at any time, which is 100% This links into exposure therapy because this is virtually the backbone of it, you plan from the ladder of avoidance.
My first week of exposure therapy will consist of me going to the shop, four times. This will help as I am putting myself in a situation which makes me panic, but doing it multiple times in one week, my anxiety should go lower in that situation at the end of the week, well I hope so.
I also had to go over these, it’s important to follow conditions as exposure therapy might not be as effective. The first condition is for it to be Graded, basically doing it from the avoidance hierarchy ladder, starting at the bottom working your way up at a steady pace. The second condition is prolonged, you’re meant to stay in the situation that causes anxiety until it drops by 50%. The third condition is that it has to be repeated, me and my therapist has said minimum 3 times a week, ideally every other day. The repeated part is very important as your anxiety in that situation goes down after each day of doing it. The last condition is doing it without distraction. Naturally, you can do things to distract you from your anxiety, for example, I use my phone when I’m anxious and I don’t give eye contact.
Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I’ve been recovering from eye surgery, slowly but surely getting better!
As always, thanks for reading!