I know how you feel - listening to these examples can be difficult because they feel like they hit too close to home, and when one ANT is triggered it can set off a big chain reaction of negativity. But you also mention that you don’t want to feel alone in this, and that is one of the positives I take from listening to these kinds of examples: hearing somebody else talk about the exact kinds of things I have experienced and learning that actually, it is not just me. These are the kinds of things that Dr Richards went through in the past, yet he managed to overcome social anxiety, and leave these thoughts in the past. So if Dr Richards can do it, why can’t people like you or me do it too?
Session 3 talks about catching, stopping, and labelling our negative thoughts, so perhaps when you notice yourself feeling upset about hearing the examples, instead of just listening to the ANTs, you now have an opportunity to practice the new strategy. That’s how I try to see it anyway.
I am happy that you are feeling better with the therapy. Sometimes I feel myself putting off doing the therapy when I know that something in one of the sessions sets off anxiety like this. But ultimately it is so worth doing it, and the more we stick with it, the more we become able to deal with those old negative thoughts.