"Low Mood/Self esteem"

About: Back on Track (Hammersmith and Fulham IAPT)

(as the patient),

I went to the H&F Back on Track service earlier this year due to low mood and what we later identified as very low self esteem. The service was quick to link me up to a CBT therapist even though they initially said the waiting time would be a few months.

I worked with Aa'lim, He was always friendly, approachable and attentive when working with me at all stages throughout the course of therapy. Aa'lim started our sessions by getting to know me and some of my background, guiding me into the identification of the core issues I was facing before discussing with me how we could tackle them. We started with some simple exercises which focused on what sort of feelings and emotions I was experiencing on my worst days. Using a cross-sectional CBT formulation we could see the links between my thoughts, behaviours, emotions and feelings and used those to try and understand some of the core thoughts and beliefs behind my issues. 

Throughout the course we used a number of other techniques to try and start challenging my negative thoughts and beliefs, not to eradicate them completely but to alter them and give them a more positive, manageable spin. Though some sessions were more intense than others, they never felt uncomfortable with Aa'lim. If he identified that I was struggling he would alter his approach to the therapy to ensure that it was always a comfortable environment for me, while still managing to extract the information he'd need to help me further and suggest the best approaches. Throughout all this Aa'lim would always create a light hearted, fun atmosphere while acknowledging the more serious aspects where needed. He made me feel comfortable and at ease at all times.

We have just reached the end of our 14 week therapy course and I can already feel an improvement to how I was before starting our sessions. My low moods are less intense, and I now know how to manage them through challenging my thoughts and beliefs. When they are particularly intense I can use the techniques to alleviate some of the negative feelings and make the overall 'low period' more manageable and less intrusive, though I understand that it will never go away completely. My self esteem issues are also being tackled and although it's a slow process, progress is definitely being made. 

The course of therapy overall was a set time frame and although I wish it could have continued a bit longer I am happy with what I have learned and know that it will make a huge impact on my life, as it has already. I really appreciate everything Aa'lim and Back on Track have done for me and though I hope it doesn't come to pass, should I need to return to therapy, I will happily use their service again.

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