Success Stories

Adam is a 28-year-old professional who sought therapy because he was feeling very stressed at work. He had difficulty speaking up in team meetings and was avoiding giving client presentations because of his immense anxiety. This was jeopardising his career progression and promotion prospects.

Jen helped Adam recognise that his anxiety at work was actually rooted in his school days - his experiences of being bullied led to him wanting to blend in and not draw attention to himself. While this way of behaving had served him well while growing up, it had now become an outdated and unhelpful way of operating in the professional world of working life.

Adam's trauma of feeling powerless by the bullies had led to him developing a 'core belief' about being weak. Core beliefs are beliefs about ourselves, other people and the social world that are developed during childhood and adolescence. These generate 'Negative Automatic Thoughts' that in turn create psychological distress, such as the anxiety response Adam experienced when he needed to speak in public.

Jen taught Adam how to identify the unhelpful thinking styles he was engaging in before, during and after his public speaking and how to begin replacing them with more empowering and helpful thoughts. Jen helped Adam create a new core belief, "I am strong" and identify his idea of the traits of 'strength'. He then used positive data logs to seek evidence of this new belief in his daily life.

Alongside these techniques, Jen also provided Adam with some psychoeducation regarding the physiological aspects of anxiety and panic reactions and taught him some physical relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing exercises for him to practice at home.

At the end of his eight therapy sessions Adam reported that he was contributing more frequently at team meetings at work and was feeling much more in control of his anxiety than previously.

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