Mind member Heather shares her experience of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most common talking treatments. Below, Mind member Heather shares how although it helped her find short-term relief, it wasn’t what she needed long term.

Heather is just one of many members’ stories and experiences that feature in the Mind Membership magazine alongside celebrity interviews, expert advice and mental health news.

If you’d like to read the full magazine and receive a further three editions of  throughout the year, as well as all the other benefits of being a Mind member, sign up today.


My experience of CBT

I started to experience really intense feelings of loneliness at university. The university counsellor suggested I might be suffering from depression, and that was when I had my first CBT sessions.

It helped me to focus on the end goal of passing my degree, but once I’d left university the depression continued to get worse. I was referred to another CBT counsellor by my GP. Again the treatment was very much focused on a short-term goal: this time what I could do to get a job.

I think people should know that if something doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything won’t work for you

I’m eternally grateful it helped me get through my degree at a time when I had very little concentration and willpower. But in the overall scheme of my depression, it wasn’t what I needed. I had a third lot of CBT and stopped halfway through because I realised it wasn't working.

I was then recommended another type of treatment: Cognitive Analytic Therapy. It’s based more on how your relationships affect your behaviour. It really worked for me: eventually leading me to come off antidepressant medication.

So I wanted to share my experience to let people know CBT isn’t the only option. I think people should know that if something doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything won’t work for you.

All I’d heard was CBT was brilliant, and when it didn’t work for me I was left feeling: ‘Does that mean I’m never going to recover?’ But I was lucky enough to find another treatment that was a better fit for me. There are other options out there.

We'd like to thank Heather for sharing her story. Read our full information on cognitivie behavioural therapy, cognitive analytic therapy, and depression.  If you have any questions about this article or Mind membership, get in touch with the team at [email protected]

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