We spoke to Sadie Fiona, an NHS-registered Congitive Behavioural Therapist to find out more about it and how it can help Dyspraxics who suffer with anxiety.
Thanks for agreeing to speak to us. Firstly could you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
I am a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, I work full time and see clients who are suffering with symptoms of depression, anxiety, Long term conditions, OCD, PTSD or phobias
Anxiety seems to be something that a number of people with dyspraxia can struggle with. What is anxiety and how does it differ from depression?
Anxiety can manifest in many ways, I guess it’s individual, however there are some symptoms that seems to be common such as- Restlessness, feeling on edge, worrying, irritability
Depression can affect our mood by feeling tired, or over eating, feeling bad about yourself and trouble concentrating ( neither of this lists are exhaustive)
I feel that anxiety and depression come together, for example if you feel anxious it might trigger depressive symptoms and vice versa. It’s also important to say that its very normal to feel anxious or depressed at any given time in our lives.
Could you tell us a bit about CBT and how it works?
CBT is a talking therapy that is designed to help you manage problems by looking at changing how you behave or the way that you think.
It works by looking at your cycle of behaviour, thought processes, physical sensations and the affect these have on you ( any negative effects). CBT can teach you how to break down problems to manage them in a better way. We focus on current problems and look for practical ways of improving your mood.
Is CBT suitable for everyone ?
I don’t believe so, I think it has a place for sure, but doesn’t suit everyone.
Where can people get CBT? Is it available on the NHS and is there a waiting list?
Yes its able on the NHS, depending on the area you live in you can ask your GP to refer you. Some services offer self referral
Is the therapy you do one on one or is it in a group?
CBT can be offered by both one to one or group, there are also online packages, telephone sessions and I read somewhere that it is being trialed over the PC
Would we cover the past?
CBT doesn’t focus on the past, however it can give some important information as to why people are struggling with a problem. So we might cover some past experiences if both therapist and client feel it will help
What are the benefits of CBT? What does CBT offer that other taking therapies doesn’t?
Personally I feel it may be helpful when medication hasn’t worked, it can be completed in a short space of time, as above it can be delivered in many different formats and it teaches you to become your own therapist.
I am not sure about the second part of the question, as I couldn’t know all other types of therapy, I do believe they are all helpful and it’s good to know that they are choices out there J
What can someone expect from a session?
We usually break down problems and try and understand what’s going on for you by looking at thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We would work out what effect these have on you and also challenge any unhelpful thoughts that may come up. Session can vary from 30-60 minutes, the aim is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt and to be able to practice them daily. It can be hard work, but well worth it
How many therapy sessions would someone typically get?
Again this differs according to therapist and area, usually 5-20 sessions
If someone has deep seated issues with self esteem can CBT help?
I believe that it can, because a lot of self-esteem problems creates negative thoughts which can be worked on in CBT.
What are the effects of CBT and are the results life long?
Personally I have seen the difference it can make to mood, and yes the results can be lifelong. it’s about practicing what you have been taught
What is the scientific evidence to support CBT?
NICE, the authority on clinical excellence have a number of studies and papers to show CBT can be very effective and really work. I believe that CBT is the only therapy that can be measurable
Some people with dyspraxia also have issues with social anxiety and interpersonal interactions. Can CBT still work with people who are not necessarily confident talkers or are quite guarded?
Yes for sure, CBT can teach you techniques which help with confidence
As we know there is no cure for dyspraxia, only coping mechanisms so have you treated adult dyspraxics in the past and what aspects of their lives have improved as a result?
Confidence building, problem solving and just understanding the reasons why we become anxious
Is there a guarantee of success or does the patient have to ‘give in order to receive’?
Nothing in life is guaranteed, the more you put into CBT the more you will get
If you are suffering or struggling with depression or anxiety we encourage you to seek help and support. There is a growing list of useful support help lines on our ‘Useful Links’ page or calling your GP to enquire about CBT and other treatments and therapies available to you.
For a list of registered and accredited CBT therapists you can visit http://www.cbtregisteruk.com/