Difficulty Sticking to the therapy


#1
  I️ have decided to start over for the third time after straying away from daily online therapy about 3 months back. This time I️ want to stick on until I attain significant and lasting improvement if not cure. To do this, I️ think I️ need some external help and not just rely on my will power. I would like to know what has helped those who have succeeded. 
    I️ am back down in the dumps now... I️ have a “I️ hate myself” audio playing in my brain most of the time. I️ am trying to move jobs and soon will have to face my worst fears- interviews. The worst questions- “What sets you apart? What quality/ skill makes you a better candidate than others?”. I️ have to try to answer these questions intelligibly while my brain screams that I️ am the worst candidate for any job.😣

So, this time, I️ have to stick to the therapy and hope it works magic.

So, back to my question- is there any ideas to help stick with therapy. All through my school and college years, I used to study with a partner to help stay motivated. We would set targets and report to each other how much we completed. I am wondering if some variation of this will work. Has anybody tried anything similar that worked. Any suggestion is more than welcome. I am really desperate!!


#2

For me, I found it helps to keep a journal of all the struggles and successes I have throughout the day. I also found it helps to include in that journal the days you did and did not practice your therapy, how long you spent on each method of therapy, and the types of therapy you did practice. Then at the end of the day, week, or month you can review the therapy to general feeling (successes/struggles) and you will start to see a correlation building between days you did your therapy and good days or weeks overall. This helped me make the connection between therapy and wellbeing and this really helped me continue the therapy.

Hope that helps! <3 Stick with it :slight_smile:


#3

Thanks OGirly. I will try that.


#4

Hello liveinpeace,

Finding a therapy “study partner” is actually a good idea, and is a suggestion used by Dr. Richards himself when he runs his CBT groups here at the Institute; he recommends that each of the group members pair up and study the therapy together, as it keeps you motivated.

What OGirly suggested is a good idea as well; keeping a journal writing in it as often as you can, might be a good motivator. It can also serve as inspiration of how much progress you’ve made, if you read it sometime in the future and see all the successes you’ve had over social anxiety.

Another thing you can do is post sticky notes, 3 X 5 cards, or anything small that can be written on, with therapy reminders (example: slow down, calm down, don’t listen to the ANTs, etc.)…and to post them in areas around your house where you can see them everyday and acknowledge them. These can serve as constant reminders of the therapy and the cognitive strategies.

The most important thing, however, is to ensure that you get the 30 minutes of therapy in every day; so even if it requires clearing your schedule in order to accommodate the therapy, then definitely do so as getting into the habit of doing therapy everyday will eventually become habit, and you’ll have more motivation to do it.

Hope that helps.

-Mat


#5

Maybe report back on this forum every time you complete a session and give a quick debrief of what you learned/practised that week?

reward yourself after completing a session however imperfect/unproductive you thought the session was.


#6

Yeh, it was difficult for me as well to stick with the therapy in the beginning which is extremely normal because you’re not used to it. It’s similar to sticking with any new habit, there are and will be setbacks, but you will find yourself sometime in the future like myself - I gave up on it for 1 year almost. You will find yourself in the future, let’s hope you don’t give up on it as extreme as I had. But that was just a setback. Once I got back into it, I realized so much how stupid it was of me, or actually I allowed my social anxiety/the pull of the past to give up on it, since that neural pathway is stronger since I used it for my entire life.

It’s like transplanting organs to another person, sometimes to other person’s body rejects the transplant and other times it doesn’t, other times it takes a few interventions to accept it. It’s also similar to accepting a new belief that doesn’t match up with your current beliefs. I couldn’t see how any of the strategies made any sense to me, but with time and behavioral practice, they really started to stick better and make sense. And now I can finally see how this therapy is much more worth my time than wasting my time with ANTs, the destroyer of lives.


#7

You don’t have to be perfect with the therapy, being perfect and wanting to study in a perfect way just adds on more pressure and harms your progress! Just take time every day for 30 minutes to strengthen the therapy neural pathways in any way that’s easy for you. You can either read from the book for 30 minutes, you can listen to the current session audio you’re on for 30 minutes, you can read a handout out loud for 30 minutes in slow talk and/or (record yourself on your laptop voice recorder), you can sing along to any of the songs for 30 minutes, or you can do a few minutes of each that add up 30 minutes a day. It’s best to do it as soon as you wake up so your whole day will be heaven on earth.

Don’t sweat the small stuff because it’s all small stuff! I see it this way, if you don’t practice the therapy you don’t strengthen that neural pathway, you actually strengthen your old neural pathway full of ANTs lies. Now where would you rather be? I’d rather be on this website, lol.