Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Back from Oxford
I went to Oxford on a CBT course. It was good. I have been roundly rubbishing CBT for a while (basically because I am scared the government in its infinite wisdom will banish all other forms of therapy) and now I am going to stop rubbishing it. Its good stuff. All the other skills I have learnt are fabulous and I wouldn't swap them but CBT is really logical and scientific, and has the added bonus of not analysing the reasons behind offering to make a cup of tea (for example!)
I am a bit of a science chick (Star Trek's Mr Spock being my earliest role model) and so it fits with me. Cut the waffling, cut the endless navel gazing - lets look at how we all maintain our problems by our own thinking/behaviour. Shit happens but its how WE perpetuate that shit that matters. It is immensely liberating because it enables the individual to take full responsibility for their own lives. Yes there are flaws, its not the whole answer but it does not deserve the bashing it has had recently. My own modality does address here and now problems but the sheer force of the here and now focus in CBT is impressive.
I certainly applied the theory immediately.
I have been terrified of getting lost for a long time. Its a realy problem and I feel terribly anxious when I venture into a new area. My two day course enabled me to identify where that came from - getting lost on the way to school in a new village when I was 8. Being late for afternoon registration and bursting into tears when the teacher shouted at me.
However knowing that does not really help. Its the maintenance cycle that is the problem.
What I do now.
What I do now is constantly check my route, make sure I have someone with me to direct me. Panic if there is the slightest hiccup and make dangerous driving decisions in an attempt to get out of the situation. Hence I re enforce my belief that I always get lost and I am hopeless
.... so instead of lurking in Starbucks until 7pm to drive home (to avoid the traffic)and phone home to be guided through the M40/M42 bit, I just got in my car and headed for home at 5pm. Rush hour in Oxford. Guess what? I got home safely and I did it in under 2 hours. I did not get lost once and I am now full of confidence. I have tested out my outdated beliefs and found them to be wanting. Time to overwrite the files.
Lots more I could say but I am sitting in a soggy bath robe and could really do with going to bed.