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Re: Williams: CBT Didn't Work for me...

Posted by psycjw on April 15, 2005, at 10:51:05

In reply to Re: Williams: CBT Didn't Work for me... psycjw, posted by Dena on April 15, 2005, at 10:12:24

its great that things have changed so much for you
-that the bulimia has gone and that you feel so charged up in your faith as a result as well

perhaps a key difference is that in the cbt approach for you meant being trapped in a non-winnable battle ie constant struggles/mental turmoil and needs to keep re-challenging things

in cbt terms there are two possible explanations (if thats of interest!)
1). you have moved from a position where core beliefs/schemas about yourself perhaps failing/struggling/not coping - to one where victory is assured - not in your own strength but God's - and you are absolutely sure of that - ie He has done the change not you .

this can help you move away from a situation where in cbt you are invited to challenge schemas - and this often causes them to fight back - by tempting the person to do things that conform their failure/uselessness/badness/etc. this ccyle was broken, and i suspect a major schema change may have happened - ie no longer believing bad things about yourself (sorry - not implying you do or did, but most of us have at least some negative views of ourselves at least some of the time)

2). it sounds a bit like some of the fight against bulimia had some obsessional/rumimative aspects - constantly going over things in a compulsive type way that was unwinnable? (i may well be wrong). imagine that when we feel like that its like a pressure cooker on a stove, every time we act/respond and try to get things right we just end up turning up the gas. it sounds like the prayer ministry turned off the gas and let off the pressure that you felt that you should sort things out. you could allow God to do that, and trust it, and just let things be.

by taking the pressure off you having to fight at staying well, it sounds like you could just step into a new way of being (healed) - with nothing more to prove/argue. a cycle of mental/behavioural compulsive activity may just have been thrown off.

two examples to illustrate this:
a). if we are struggling hard to cope we often try hard not to think things. if readers could try for the next 30 seconds not to think about a white polar bear and see what happens

(30 secs later) if youre like me you'll have thought of nothing but a white polar bear (or expended quite a lot of mental energy thinking about somethign else instead like a black bear!)

the lesson there is that trying not to think about something often worsens it

b). imagine youare in a room by yourself reading a paper and a large bluebottle flies around the room noisily. we have two choices - keep reading or get up and try and swat it. if we get up and try to swat it the danger is we miss and end up dancing round the room chasing it fruitlessly with it just getting noiser and noiser

lesson: with thoughts that we are obsessing about/preoccupied with, its better to let them be - trying to swat them (challenge them/think our way out of them etc etc) just doesnt work

perhaps the prayer you had helped you accept that God not you had swotted the fly (if thats not a naff metaphor!)

it all sounds like a very positive experience and i'm really glad things have imporved

chris w




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