"Mental health services"

About: Ealing IAPT

(as the patient),

I was having trouble with stress and anxiety. Sleep problems, problems with food - I felt awful. My GP gave me the number for Ealing IAPT and once I'd answered some questions over the phone, I was offered CBT sessions.

My counselor was brilliant. She not only took me through the principles of CBT, but really listened to me and helped me get to the bottom of what was worrying me and why. Throughout this we kept going back through the CBT stuff and working out which bits were relevant and how I could apply them.

She was very kind and a great listener - she remembered things I'd told her weeks later. She also really empathised with me so I stopped feeling like I shouldn't have these feelings.

I went from being a bit nervous at the start - like, will she think I'm just making a fuss about nothing, some people have real problems etc - to thoroughly looking forward to our time together.

I've learnt a lot about what's in my head and feel I have learnt strategies that really work for me. I understand that sh*t will still happen, that's life, but I feel like I'll be better prepared in the future to deal with it.

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

Dear MissusR

Developing a good therapeutic relationship with your clinician is one of the key ingredients to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome when you start engaging in treatment. It sounded like you really managed to achieve that with your clinician. It may also be that our own fears about treatment (“will she think I’m just making a fuss about nothing”) can present a barrier for people to even ask for help in the first instance. However, in your case it appears that these fears quickly dissipated and you managed to get to a point of really looking forward to your sessions.

The great thing about CBT is that it aims to teach you to become your own therapist. It sounds as if you are now equipped with strategies that really work for you and realistic about the fact that life can be hard but feeling more able to cope with the ‘knock backs’.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. As always, we find these stories incredibly encouraging and I wish you the very best for your future.

Best wishes,

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