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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.
 

Healing after a break-up, betrayal or bereavement

I decided to start CBT with Eleanor because for many years I had been pretending that everything in my life was ok, and by doing so, I’d never dealt with issues I had surrounding my parents splitting up and my difficult relationship with my dad.  This led to a relationship with a man (who became my husband) in which I was very unhappy, but had spent so long convincing myself that it was what was good for me, and that there was something wrong with me for not wanting him.  Finally when we split up, I felt that all my repressed feelings were coming to the surface, which gave me an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t coping. I wanted help to develop understanding of why I had got into habits of pretending in my life because it was easier to do that than face the reality.”

I came to see Eleanor for a course of CBT after a painful relationship break-up and a family bereavement. I was in a stressful job that I wasn't enjoying and I was spending a lot of my time caught up with worrying about the past and the future, criticising myself and avoiding certain situations that made me panicky or anxious. I was regularly feeling claustrophobic and avoiding flying and getting the tube as well as a number of social situations.

My immediate goal with CBT was to work through the painful emotions I was feeling, improve my self-esteem and learn how to deal with anxiety in a more productive manner. Through my work with Eleanor I have realised the importance of focusing on the present moment, and I can now see the difference between looking at a problem productively and spending time wrapped up in unnecessary worry. Eleanor's help in this regard was fantastic. Knowing that there was someone offering support and encouragement whilst I was tackling situations that I had been dreading for years made such a real difference! With Eleanor's help and through the "homework" exercises between sessions I have learned methods to cope with anxiety which have made me much more self-reliant and confident.”

Looking back on my personal CBT journey, I decided to start the process after the break down of my relationship and although I now realise this was the trigger, I had long recognised that I had a deep pain within me that needed addressing, as well as the grief that I was carrying around after my break up. Eleanor was ready and willing to help me find my way and to help me grow both emotionally and spiritually.

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

— Rita Mae West