CBT is kind of gaslighty

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
as the only focus should have been on helping you deal with the current threat in meaningful and real ways based on the threat.
Agreed. They handled it wrong. Which is easy to see now but when completely freaked out because someone is trying to kill you.... in the perfect world, professionals would know when to put CBT in place (after the crisis perhaps). I had no clue at the time. It just felt very wrong having to defend myself because of this first line (at the time) trauma intervention.
Real threats must always be treated as such, even by therapists,
Yes, I would say especially by therapists.

You are your truth, that simple.
Yes, to a degree. However when a professional is the determinant of whether your truth is 'real' or not, it can become an issue.

Thanks for the validation. It is important to know that even though everyone says CBT is the cats ass, it depends on your situation and it can be very gaslighty.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
It is important to know that even though everyone says CBT is the cats ass, it depends on your situation and it can be very gaslighty.
Slight tweak to this - I don't think CBT itself is dangerous; but all therapists are definitely NOT created equal, there are more than a few bad ones. And CBT being applied by the wrong therapist to the wrong situation - that can create a real mess.

I guess my point is mostly semantic - just to say that CBT itself isn't gaslight-y, but a therapist applying it incorrectly or poorly can create a lot of internal confusion and struggle for the person who is seeking help. We're not capable of neutrally evaluating a situation when in crisis, and it's really shitty that a clumsy therapist (like the one you're describing) can do so much damage (like what was done to you, by not being properly heard and helped.)
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
We're not capable of neutrally evaluating a situation when in crisis, and it's really shitty that a clumsy therapist
I think the problem wasn't with the CBT therapist. I had been sent to her by my psychiatrist - who I think had a hard time believing what was happening to me at the time. So it was more about the assessment. I believe the CBT person was following the direction of the psychiatrist - which was her job. Completely dismissing the reality of the situation because CBT was a front line therapy of choice. When I protested I kept being told by the psychiatrist that this was 'the best therapy' for trauma.

Having said that, I think sufferers can get into this type of situation in all sorts of ways. Psychiatrists, therapists, practitioners all have their own separate biases.

The bottom line I think is that if CBT is feeling like it is gaslighty as the OP and others have mentioned, it may be a warning that this is not the therapy for that person at that moment, regardless of what science says.
 

Sideways

Moderator
The bottom line I think is that if CBT is feeling like it is gaslighty as the OP and others have mentioned, it may be a warning that this is not the therapy for that person at that moment, regardless of what science says.
I totally agree. The importance of reaching stability before any major therapy is done is incredibly important. Being unsafe or in crisis? Isn't the time for CBT.

Then once we're stable and safe, I think a lot of us start out simply needing to be heard - "this was traumatic, I'm not coping". CBT isn't the right modality for that stage of healing either I don't think.

CBT, like many therapies, asks us to challenge our perception/interpretation of the world - our thoughts. A lot of our thoughts are off because of our ptsd, so they thoughts need challenging. Good, solid thouhts? Withstand those challenges, while problematic thoughts won't.

So I don't think it's gaslighting to encourage someone to question (ie. 'challenge') their thoughts as part of their healing process, and CBT simply offers a framework to do that.

When a person isn't ready to have their thoughts/ideas/perceptions challenged? It can be a terrible idea. I think we all spend at least some time in the space where we don't need correcting, we don't need to be challenged, we just need to be heard. And that's not what CBT is intended to offer.

At the same time, there's only so far a person will go with their recovery if they're never prepared to challenge their perception and thoughts.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
Being unsafe or in crisis? Isn't the time for CBT.
I was stable when I started trauma focused CBT. I wasn’t afterwards. I don’t know if it was the fawn response in me that made me willing to push myself further than I should’ve. It’s quite often the first thing offered on the NHS. I had no ideas what therapy was I had been seeing a psychiatrist for meds review etc. I wanted to “get better” if the psychologist who was conducting the CBT said this will be uncomfortable but we have to push through. I didn’t know what that meant or where my distress tolerance was at the time.

A lot of my fears weren’t unfounded he wanted me to go jogging like normal but not take my dog for protection and keep both earphones in. This is just simple things every woman does to stay safe. I lived in a rough area and my jogging route took me through unlit parks.

And of course I know, believe me I know not all therapists are created equal. Same with any profession you get good accountants and bad ones. But look at the responses on this thread and the wider internet a lot of people have had really troubling experiences with CBT. I was hospitalised after CBT. I was so scared of therapy after that having had no other experience of it that I suffered and struggled alone for years. I was offered EMDR after CBT and turned it down I was so fragile and scared.

I can only talk about my own experiences and what it’s like trying to navigate the NHS mental health services. Which are underfunded and over worked. I have an amazing therapist now but it’s through a charity and my sessions are almost up. I’m doing a lot better. I did read the feeling good book and have gained some personal insight from it. If any of you have had fantastic experiences with CBT, great I’m genuinely happy for you. This thread is to validate that that’s not the case for everyone, and some people have had quite awful experiences with CBT.
 
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