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Walking the path from struggle to strength  
 

I asked my clients to write a few words of feedback, advice or encouragement for people thinking about whether to start CBT, as they are the experts from experience. I’m sure you’ll be inspired about possibilities for change, when you read how far others have come!  I hope it also gives you a more detailed sense of how I could help you on your life journey, from those who have walked the path from struggle to strength themselves. There are no identifying details, not even first names or initials, as, to me, it‘s of utmost importance to protect peoples’ total confidentiality.
 

Overcoming avoidance, achieving goals and success

The most important practical changes I’ve made are that I have begun doing the very things I feared – simple little things, but avoiding and procrastinating on so many things all added up to making my life feel a worrisome misery! For example, it was a source of anxiety for me to join my colleagues for lunch, so I’d find all sorts of convoluted ways around invites and then feel bad my excuses about it all afternoon. I decided to go for it one afternoon and despite feeling anxious, I participated. Now I join them for lunch regularly and have really begun to enjoy it! The more I did it the easier it became, and I coached myself with positive self talk that I had learnt in my CBT sessions. I also use relaxation and self-calming techniques every day so I go for it rather than dither and create a drama in my head! The ones that Eleanor has taught me only take 2 seconds, so it’s realistic to do, and have made such a massive difference to me.”

As a result of CBT with Eleanor, other people have noticed positive changes and have said that I am glowing! Others have said that I have really grown in confidence and seem very happy in myself. Because I put myself forward for things at work now rather than shy away, my manager has commented that she can see excellent leadership skills emerging.”

Before I started working with Eleanor I used to make excuses such as not going to office events because I thought I wasn’t good enough and that I needed to loose weight, but now I can see that people like being with me, because I’m friendly and fun and have a nice personality and interested in others. I’ve also been able to move office and meet new people, whereas before I would have just stuck with what I knew. I now actually like myself as I am and I don’t worry about what other people think of me. I realise how lucky and blessed I am and how much happier I am now! I want to keep CBT going as I recognise how important it is to look after my emotional health and self esteem.”

Thanks to the way that Eleanor and I worked together, my confidence has grown. I feel much stronger because of what I have accomplished.  Because of my therapy and because of the mental tools I have gained, I feel like I can handle any situation with resilience and courage. Now I only put things off when this would be actively helpful to create some space, and not because I’m doubting my abilities, worried about screwing up or fearing judgement from others. My sense of inner calm has increased because my CBT sessions helped me to address past problems, and move forward from them effectively. My relationships with friends and family have improved because I am more relaxed and open. This is as a result of having more peace with myself now I am much more active in addressing things as they occur. I have the strength to keep building on my progress because I now realise that it is essential to my wellbeing. I feel mentally equipped to live a positive life and be able to take control and deal with problems when they arise.”

I finally discovered the real reason to be alive: is to enjoy it!”

— Rita Mae West