Written by PraxisAdmin

Kim's Story – The Impact of CBT Counselling

Kim and her sisters tell the story of the difference CBT Counselling through Together For You and Praxis Care has made to their lives.

Kim and her Sisters Ann and Susan, tell their story in the video below.

Kim’s Story

“I have been asked to write about my experience with Praxis and I think in order for me to say what they have done to help me you need to know a bit about me and my life before Praxis.

Over the last fifteen years I have lost so many people that meant so much to me. My father being the first 15 years ago. In 2006 just 9 weeks after my only daughter was born I lost my husband due to illness. I was completely heartbroken and couldn’t express my joy at being a mum for the first time. I became a shell I had no feeling, I didn’t want to do anything, talk to anyone and I found it really hard to bond with my daughter. I knew I loved her more than anything but I just couldn’t feel. It became easier to keep myself away from people and i avoided any social activities.

I then found it harder and harder to go out, I became really anxious any time I had to go out. My heart would pound, I would sweat and feel faint. I was also diagnosed in July of 2006 with arthritis and fibromyalgia, I was depressed, anxious, in a lot of pain and I felt completely worthless.

These feelings just escalated over the years as more of my family members passed away, I felt so vulnerable, I had not confidence, no self worth, was paranoid, always feared the worst of every situation and worried needlessly. I was having headaches all the time, my pain increased and I was completely miserable.

As my daughter was getting older and she was noticing more how I was she was starting to worry about me I knew it was time for me to ask for help. I used to be a very outgoing, confident, happy go lucky person that loved being around people and I was this shell constantly on edge, agitated, sad person I didn’t like.

I went to my GP and asked for help, he referred me to the local mental health nurse who after an assessment thought that a referral to Praxis would be the best kind of therapy I needed.

When I went for my initial assessment with Praxis my councillor explained to me that it would be a long hard road but that she would be with me every step of the way. At first I wanted to just go home and cry and not bother but talking with her that day made me feel for the first time in a long time, I wanted to be me again.

Each week I was given new experiments to carry out throughout the week and rate how I felt before and after each task. I learned from her how to calm down using breathing techniques, which worked amazingly, I was able to go to shops at first with someone with me, then on my own. She gave me the tools for me to help me find myself again. I cannot express enough how much this has done for me. I am going out on my own, able to socialize, laugh and not feel guilty. I don’t hate myself anymore, I am comfortable in my own skin. She helped me through situations I completely avoided before, school interviews, family meals at restaurants, family parties. All these things I had been missing out on and now I can go to and enjoy.

There are a few things that really stuck with me throughout this course, Breathing, is absolutely vital to have control of, if your breathing is nice and calm and even everything looks different, the worry tree, if I can deal with a problem I do it there and then, if not I see when I can deal with it and if there is nothing I can do about it I let it go. Catastrophizing is a favourite of mine and makes me smile now when I say it. I did tend to blow everything up and out of proportion and think the worst of everything, now when I have something on my mind I stop and think, what’s the worst that can happen and then what’s the best that can happen, I usually have my answer right away.

I would highly recommend this style of therapy as I have used some of the techniques with my daughter as I was going through my journey and it has made her a calmer, happier and more open little girl and I thank Praxis for that and especially Denise Grahame for all her support, kindness, patience and professionalism who without I would not be the person I am today.”

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