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A mental health experience - CBT

Today’s guest was John Fretwell. John talked very openly about his own mental ill health hehas experienced over the years. It takes great bravery to do this, John said “ if doing thisrecording helps someone else, then it’s worth speaking about” Johns mental health troublesstarted in his late 20s and went on for some years after that, if you want to hear more about this then you will have to listen in.

The podcast begins with the listener question “what is CBT” CBT stands for CognitiveBehaviour therapy. It’s a very simple yet effective model, used widely by the NHS. I use it in my practice along with other models. CBT is great for unpicking behaviours, stopping or changing a behaviour. What is doesn’t do is help for us to understand why and where a certain behaviour came from. When we gain this knowledge, we become informed and empowered to change other things in the future.

CBT is often described as a sticking plaster, that said I know lots of people who have gotten great results from this type of therapy. I would rather see someone engaging in CBT than no therapy at all.

So how does it work? It works on the very simple circular model of: we think, we feel, we behave. Everything begins in the mind. For example, if I’m having unhealthy thoughts suchas “I’m not good enough, I’m useless, I’m rubbish, I’m a failure” then I’m going to begin feeling unhealthy in my thoughts. My emotions will become low and I will begin to feel alittle sad. If I’m feeling sad then my behaviours will also change in line with my mood. So, Imay be less likely to feed my self-good and healthy food, I may desire drinking a little more. I would be less likely to do all of the things that I know are healthy for me. All of this comes from the unhelpful thoughts and voices in our minds. It is really important we are as aware as we can be with regards the thought’s in our heads. Do you know how healthy yourthoughts are...?

During the recording we also talked about self-esteem and in particular low self-esteem.
I may have written about this before, but honestly, I can’t talk about it too much. When we think about low self-esteem and the unhealthy voices in our heads, they are definitely connected.

Self-esteem like many things comes from childhood. Not always from abuse or our idea of trauma, low self-esteem can come from the most innocent of happenings. Primary carers separating, or perhaps the loss of a primary carer because of illness. As children if we experience either of those two things along with many other similar situations, we can read the situation as “I’m not good enough, that’s why they left” as adults we can make sense ofwhy we lose someone, as children we make up our own, sometimes unhealthy reasons. This in turn sets or begins to programme our minds into an unhealthy mindset.

We might assume that this would clear as we get older, but it doesn’t.
Before the age of 7/8 we refer to it as hard wiring. Imagine a house is built and the wiring and plumbing go in, 50 years on would the wiring or pluming automatically update itself? The answer is of course no. As humans its exactly the same. The low self-esteem, or any


other characteristic or behaviour we developed when we were young doesn’t change itselfuntil we change it. We do this by either doing some self-exploration or working with a professional.

So, if you have habits or behaviours that you don’t like, that don’t serve you well, that causeyou discomfort, change them.

One of the most common things I hear from people is “well it’s just the way I am”
we can change anything about ourselves we want to, we just need to “want” too, there hasto be a drive to want to change, find the drive and anything is possible.

If you’re not feeling happy or peaceful, change it. I know it seems flippant, but it’s importantto know that you are in charge of your world, your life, your Destiney.
Follow John and make the changes you want in life.

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Feedback on the podcasts is always welcome, you can contact Newark radio or contact me direct on Guthrietherapys Facebook page. We record the podcasts for you, the listener, let us know if you like them, and please let us know if there are subjects that you would like to hear more about.

Love and peace