Anxiety Support
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I blame my CBT therapist

I've been about six times now to CBT and left twice now with more anxiety than started the session. There are some trigger words that I'm very vulnerable with right now i.e. Cancer. She left me thinking f I thought too much about it I'd up getting what I fear just by the thought of it. Does anyone experience similar things when they have CBT? Do you find it too much to deal with? Thanks for any advice.

9 Replies

Hi.simon. You can't get cancer by thinking about it any more than any other disease. If it were so then we would all be gonners! CBT did not work for me as I found it too superficial. But I have heard of some excellent results so it is a matter of personal choice. The old story; if it works for you then good. There is a problem called 'cancer phobia'. That is an irrational fear of cancer and is, like any other phobia, treatable. Can I suggest a good therapist who deals in phobias? Anxiety. UK. could perhaps help so give them a ring. (See website).

Try not to worry. (I know, easier said than done). We all have these thoughts and in an anxiety state they tend to jump to the fore. Come back and let us know how you get on. Bast wishes.



Hello, Simon

No, i agree with Jonathan, I did not find CBT helpful - it is "flavour of the month" with the NHS now, unfortunately - I sort of gave up on it when not one but TWO therapists told me I was "living the life i chose" - when I'd lost my job, my car, my dreams and was living the life of my nightmares! Yes, i think CBT can work for some people, but it isn't a "one size fits all" solution, in my opinion.

Yes, as Jonathan says, do contact Anxiety UK, they might be able to suggest a suitable therapist - trouble is, getting anything other than CBT on the NHS is pretty difficult nowadays. If your GP referred you for CBT, I would suggest you start by going back and telling them it's not working; "ordinary" counselling should be available, although you might have to wait :( And no, you can't "think" yourself into cancer, or any other illness - i know my saying so probably doesn't help right now, but it is true!

Do see your GP and let us know how you get on.





Just echoing what Jonathan and Rose have said.

You need to go back to your GP; any therapy that persistantly leaves you feeling worse is probably not working. I have had CBT and it did work for me to a certain extent. It helped me to identify and challenge irrational patterns of thinking and that was useful in helping me get things in perspective. However I find it very difficult to use these strategies with major health anxieties or any major anxiety attack if I'm honest. It's only value to me has been if I am able to get in quick and stop my thinking becoming obsessive and triggering major anxiety. Also I was taught CBT techniques by a psychologist who had been treating me for a while and who had built up a trusted relationship with me which definately helped.

Best Wishes.x


I have tried CBT more than once, and I also found that at least one attempt made me much worse. I can see how in theory CBT ought to work, but it's often too confrontational, too cold and businesslike, and the therapists can lack warmth and empathy. I have a complex set of problems of long-standing, and also have trouble opening up and trusting people, so I can't get along with this approach as well as I get along with something like Person-Centred counselling, where you receive total empathy and acceptance of everything you say.

I agree with the others, especially Rose, that the NHS are obsessed with CBT, they use statistical data to look at what it most effective for the majority of phobias and anxiety disorders, but it won't work for everyone.

(Then again, re-reading your post, it doesn't state if you are getting this on NHS or privately?)

If you have the option to go private, I would recommend finding someone who can use a more eclectic approach, bringing the best elements of different therapies together, maybe following a CBT model, but using other approaches in the way they speak to you, so that you do not become more and more anxious and worried. A good therapist will not want that to happen to you!


Thank you all. I'm just so desperate for help. I've been waiting for NHS CBT for months and nothing so I've gone private. Will take this on board but can't help feeling the NHS has let us down.


Hi Simon

If you join Anxiety UK (the organisation, not just this forum) - it's £20 - but it does give you access to discounted therapy - and some therapists do operate sliding scales depending on income, so worth looking into?

Yes, I agree with you about the NHS - unfortunately, MH isn't "sexy" - it's a politically low-priority issue, with little support from the public! I know, I worked in the NHS - and a lot of people's view of MH problems is the "tabloid icon" of the mad axe murderer - when in fact people suffering MH problems are statistically far more likely to hurt/kill themselves than anyone else! I personally found "talking therapy" - basic counselling - far more helpful/supportive than CBT - which i agree with Funkychicken can be cold and confrontational.

Really hope you can find a therapist who you can relate to and who can help. Do let us know how you get on.





hi all just like to say cbt did not help me it made me i went for 6 weeks right know GP as put my tablets from 15 mg one night to for 2 weeks then 7.5. again my head is not right plus dizzerallthe time anyone elsebeen like this comeing of mirzatipine


I work as a private counsellor/psychotherapist, many of my clients have already been through the NHS system for CBT and it hasn't worked for them. The NHS are obsessed with CBT, it is great for anxiety issues, panic attacks, phobias etc but for deep rooted problems stemming back to childhood it just doesn't work, people need to know why they feel the way they do not just 'if you think this way you can change your life' sorry if that offends anyone but it's true.

1 like

Gave up after one session when therapist started drawing smiley and frowny faces and said I could choose. He told me his life story but didn't want to know anything about me. Also he needed a good hose down. Wasn't going to waste NHS resources.


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