This blog post is the next in my series detailing my experience of therapy. For other posts in the series go here.
Following on from attending the Psychology Awareness Programme, I was offered an assessment with a psychologist. This was a one to one session to assess my suitability for therapy and what might be an appropriate talking therapy.
Before the assessment started I was asked to complete a set of questionnaires. These questionnaires asked about all aspects of my life and how they are effected by my illnesses. It included a questionnaire that looked at the symptoms of anxiety and how much they had effected me in the last two weeks.
After filling in the questionnaires I was taken into a room with the psychologist. The assessment started with her explaining about confidentiality and what would be done with the information I provided her with. This included that what I said would be confidential within the team but would be discussed by the team as a whole. It also meant if I planned to act on suicidal thoughts she would need to discuss this with my mental health team.
In the next part of the assessment we discussed whether I was having any suicidal thoughts and whether I was safe. I explained that I was having suicidal thoughts but had no plans to act on them. This led to her reiterating what I needed to do if things changed.
Following on, the next part of the assessment was to go over what I thought my main problems were and what my goals for therapy were. We then moved on to discuss my past. The psychologist asked me lots of questions about my background, including my childhood, schooling and home life. This went into a lot of detail and was difficult at times.
In all we spent just over an hour discussing my past and issues. As we came to the end of the session, the psychologist checked what I planned to do after the session and thanked me for being so brave. She then told me she would discuss my case with the team but had some thoughts on what group would help me. She told me she would be in touch in a couple of weeks.
After the assessment I went home and looked after myself by watching a film I like and I also talked to a couple of friends as I was struggling with some of the things that came up in the assessment.
It took more than a couple of weeks to hear back but I eventually did via my care coordinator and found out I’d been accepted for group therapy. I was told I’d be contacted via letter when the next group began. It led to me feeling apprehensive about starting, especially as it was a group. At the time it was decided I would do a distress tolerance group though this was later changed.