Life in a Bind – BPD and me

My therapy journey, recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I write for welldoing.org , for Planet Mindful magazine, and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org.

My past experience of CBT – Part 2

6 Comments

A little while ago I posted a link to a short article I wrote on a positive experience I had of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) around fifteen years ago. In this second article, I describe a very different experience which took place around six years ago, during the period when my mental health was at its worst, and just before I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder:

https://healthunlocked.com/mental-health/articles/how-therapy-helped-me-through-postnatal-depression

There are a large variety of therapeutic models, and for the last five years I have been in open ended psychoanalytic psychotherapy, with a significant emphasis on the healing nature of the therapeutic relationship. Across these two articles, I aim to show briefly my belief that “having the right tool for the job, is just as important in therapy as anywhere else. Sometimes that tool is the application of a structured model such as CBT; and sometimes it’s the experience of a transformative and trusting relationship”.

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6 thoughts on “My past experience of CBT – Part 2

  1. I am a complete convert to a relational way of working in psychotherapy and counselling. for me also it was the therapeutic relationship that has been the main factor in my own healing process. the modality the therapist uses fascinates me, and explains the whys and provides some how’s, but it was the relationship that held me while the how’s and whys were explored and put into practice.
    a very wise chap I know refers to the skills that therapists learn as tools that should be picked with care to fit the job in hand, he employs a variety of theoretical approaches not just one becoz one size does not fit all in therapy, or frankly any other area of life. I have a fear of flying, i’m sure CBT would be fine for that, but a brief course of CBT would not have come close to helping with the difficulties that sent me into therapy several years ago, it took me two years to learn to trust the therapist enough to begin the real work.

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  2. I’m also in the same type of therapy as you, and my therapist does use CBT and DBT with me from time to time, when needed. I wouldn’t be able to be in a strictly CBT model. I love the relationship aspect to my current therapy. It’s the most important part of the process.

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  3. That’s actually what AH (ex therapist) said to me originally. That sometimes therapy is about working through something, and sometimes it’s about building a relationship. It’s just, when your reality is messed up enough that you can’t actually build the relationship without wrecking it….. I don’t know if I’ll ever enter therapy for building a relationship again. It would just hurt too much when we actually get somewhere and I wreck it – obviously unintentionally, but unintentionally doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It’s been nearly 4 months and I’m still sad about it. So, are therapeutic relationships worth it? I don’t know. I think they hurt in the end of the day more than they help.

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    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and I’m so sorry therapy relationships have been so painful for you. They’ve been very painful for me too, many times, but I think the process itself can be very painful as well as joyful, and unfortunately it seems to be the case that the pain is often very necessary for progress! My own view is that therapeutic relationships are unique and can be one of the most important, fulfilling, satisfying, significant, and transformative relationships of our lives. It is very different to all other relationships, and one of the reasons is actually something you alude to in your comment – it seeks to uncover and discuss our subconscious, as well as examining the conscious, and that fact alone makes it utterly different to any other relationship we will ever have. It means that the relationship will encounter within itself extraordinary resistance, surprises, and forces that take a lot of getting used to and so the process of rupture and repair is very painful, but it is to some extent necessary (at least for a while) and it can be survived. Unfortunately, immensely hard though it is, the key is to bear examining how the rupture and repair happened, and to try and change and amend the cycles. The difficulty with all of this is that it only makes sense or even feels remotely acceptable, if you are a fair way down the therapy journey, I think, so if I’ve spoken out of turn, please forgive me. I don’t want to upset or offend you, but I guess I do want to encourage you, as I feel I’ve gained such a huge amount from my therapeutic relationship…take care…x

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