"I am on that road named recovery"

About: Ealing IAPT

(as the patient),

After suffering with OCD since I was a child and now with the added burden of depression, I was offered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). I have to say from the time I was interviewed over the telephone to being seen - it was a really smooth and painless process and one that made me feel like everyone concerned wanted to help me.

After my initial interview to see if I was suitable for treatment, I was informed that the wait could be a long one given the waiting list however in the interim I was offered a really useful 4-week stress course which was very beneficial. I then had my appointment with a senior CBT therapist and she was really very good, knowledgable and empathetic and that was really good as I felt I was not a burden or a problem.

I had weekly appointments at times to suit me because I am in full time employment and my therapist set me very useful exercises that consolidated my sessions with her. I wish I could have had more sessions. Unfortunately my CBT therapist left and I was passed onto another colleague and although I was first concerned that my treatment would falter I was happy to have been proved wrong.

My male therapist was excellent and treated each session as if it was a classroom and focused on one particular issue and really got to the centre of what was going on in my brain. It was emotional and tapped into feelings and emotions I thought I was easily coping with as I had lived with OCD for over 30 years!

I dont think my therapist realised how life changing certain things he said were and how much of a positive impact they had on me. He would often ask me to come back the next evening so I would have 2 sessions a week because he wanted to build on the progress we were making. I am certainly far from cured but I am on that road named recovery which a year ago I would never have even considered possible and instead thought about no longer existing and lived everyday in a state of rituals, anxiety and catastrophising.

I am far from normal but Ealing IAPT made me realise that normal was not what was expected but just feeling like me without rituals and feeling happy was the goal.

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Response from Clinical Lead IAPT, West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Dear Desils

What an inspiring and thought provoking story. Thank you for taking the time and sharing it on Patient Opinion. I am very pleased to hear that you found the 4 week stress control course useful while you were waiting to be seen for CBT.

Also, despite being transferred over to another therapist midway through your treatment it appears that the process was managed well and you got to a point where you felt your rituals and anxiety was more manageable. It sounds like you have put an enormous amount of work into this process yourself, which is another vital ingredient for making the intervention (CBT) work for you. Well done on your achievements.

Reading stories like this are very heart-warming and encouraging. I will make sure the team are aware of your feedback and I wish you the very best on your journey of recovery.

Yours sincerely, Josef