Read real success stories from our clients about how CBT empowered them on their journey to mental wellbeing.

Real Stories of Healing and Recovery

Karen - Anxiety

Karen was a Sales Executive whose company had been through a number of changes in previous months, with resulting redundancies and restructuring. This had been a worrying time, and Karen had begun to lose sleep, and see less of her friends and family, while increasingly bringing work home on weekends. One morning on the way to work, she experienced difficulty breathing, tightness in her chest and palpitations. Fearing she would pass out, she pulled over in the car to calm down and took the quiet roads back home.

Over the next week, the same symptoms of breathlessness, and racing heart returned daily. Alarmed that there might be something wrong with her heart, Karen was signed off work and went to her local hospital for tests. These were negative and doctors informed her that anxiety was the most likely cause. Karen was advised that the recommended treatment for her symptoms was a form of talking therapy called CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Over the next 6 weeks, Karen attended weekly sessions of CBT where she learned that her symptoms were a form of Panic Disorder, that this is a relatively common reaction to stress and that she could learn to control it.

With her therapist she learned how catastrophic thoughts were maintaining her anxiety, and gradually she was able to manage these, and panics reduced in intensity. At the same time, she explored ways of coping with stress at work, and improving sleep patterns.

After only 4 sessions, panics had reduced to once per week, and Karen had returned to work. With follow-up sessions looking at how to use exercise, and time management, she began to reintroduce social activities, and planned a holiday. At session 6 she was panic free and noted “I have my life back…CBT is a godsend. Everyone should have it!”

I have my life back... CBT is a godsend. Everyone should have it!”

Jason - Fear of Flying

Thirty-five-year-old Jason had been promoted at work, requiring him to fly to Amsterdam on a weekly basis. He had been fearful of flying since experiencing turbulence on a flight home from Spain 10 years previously. He had avoided plane travel since then, preferring to travel by train or boat and tending to holiday at home in the UK.

Jason attended eight sessions of CBT aimed at addressing his fear of flying with the goal of being able to fly comfortably to Amsterdam without anxiety. Treatment sessions began with psychoeducation about the nature of anxiety and practical information about the process of plane travel and the relative risks. Jason was encouraged to elicit his specific worries around plane travel and to explore these by looking for alternatives and asking friends and family who were comfortable with flying to check out their points of view.

On his first flight to Amsterdam, Jason prepared for this by giving himself plenty of time at the airport and making sure that he did not engage in excessive checking behaviour on the plane. He was prepared to recognise and understand symptoms of anxiety and to “ride the wave” of fear-related sensations. In fact, on his first flight, Jason discovered that his fear, while peaking at a level of 6 (out of 10), rapidly reduced when he managed to continue to behave normally and towards the end of his relatively short flight to Holland, he began to feel calmer. While the return journey was accompanied with some feelings of trepidation beforehand, he again managed to “ride the wave” and felt he was able to return the following week.

Over time, and with continued practice, Jason succeeded in gearing down his fear reaction by working on his thoughts and behaviours and was able to travel comfortably to Amsterdam with work. At his last of 8 treatment sessions, he was planning to fly to America to holiday with his family. 

Now traveling comfortably and planning long-haul holidays with family

Rebecca - Panic disorder

Rebecca came to CBT Networks with symptoms of panic disorder in the form of intense nausea and dread on Monday mornings prior to her journey to work. She described waking in the morning with an increased heart rate and feeling like she did not want to get out of bed. Unable to eat breakfast, she struggled to get to her train and found herself worrying about vomiting or fainting in public.

In her CBT sessions, Rebecca began by monitoring her panic symptoms to see how they fluctuated over a period of a week. Her panic diary showed that Tuesdays to Sundays were relatively symptom-free. It became apparent that fear of Mondays was associated with a Management Meeting at work scheduled for first thing each Monday morning at which she regularly had to present information from the previous week. Rebecca was able to identify several negative predications regarding these meetings and about her ability to successfully manage in them. She also noticed that she would tend to avoid the meeting if possible, arriving late and staying near the door in case she felt faint and sipping water frequently in order to prevent herself from being sick.

In sessions, Rebecca learned to understand the relationship between physical symptoms and negative thoughts and began to practice behaving more confidently in meetings by reducing avoidance and even managing to chair a meeting. She learned to understand that feelings of anxiety, while uncomfortable, would not cause fainting and was able to experiment with sitting in the middle of a room and talking with familiar and unfamiliar groups of people, e.g., at her work’s annual conference. She is no longer panicky on a Monday.

Overcoming Monday morning panic and managing anxiety at work




If you would like to make an enquiry, please fill in our form here and it will be sent straight to our inbox, alternatively feel free to give us a call during our opening times on 01608 737614. 

You can also book a session online, simply click the button below and you can select an available appointment to suit you.