Plagued by perfectionism

Nothing has plagued me more than setting up my own business.  I wanted to make a success of a business that was truly important to me.  I wanted so badly to succeed and to offer a fantastic service that I put myself under incredible pressure.  During this time I lost a sense of me, my social life was nonexistent, I was stressed, working long hours, irritable and I was making mistakes.  The experience of this pressure has stayed with me, it's a reminder of how easily things can slip and it's something I find useful to reflect upon.

 The whole experience had me thinking: as humans we make mistakes, that's part of life but how much do we accept that?  When are high standards too high?  Do you have high standards?  Do you find yourself constantly striving for better?  Has anyone ever suggested that you are a perfectionist?  BUT, that's a good thing isn't it?  Isn't it good to have a goal and push for it?  Isn't this what gets you excellent results? 

At what cost?

For some these standards get in the way of happiness, sometimes these high standards can actually push us to the point where our performance is impaired.  We can become so angry and self critical because of one mistake or slip up.  Sound familiar?  There is a big difference between the healthy pursuit of excellence and the unhelpful striving for constant perfection.  Constantly striving for these unrelenting standards can result in:

·       Feeling tense, on edge or stressed out.  Often our best efforts aren't good enough so that the excessive drive to excel is self defeating as it leaves little chance to reach our goals and little chance to feel good about ourselves.

·       Judging ourselves based on our ability to achieve, it's like putting all of our eggs in one basket.  This makes us particularly vulnerable as not reaching our goals results in us feeling like a failure.  As humans beings we make mistakes, that's a normal, healthy part of life but being a perfectionist leaves no room for this.

·       Pursuing perfection can leave little time for anything else, it can have a huge impact on our well being.  It can lead to social isolation, depression, stress, worry, frustration, relationship difficulties, repeated checking of work, insomnia, poor health and much more.

If you have identified with any of the above and would like to make changes, either give us a call to book an appointment or alternatively email Capital CBT and I can send on some useful suggestions for self help guides/ books.

Bridging the gap 

Many people have asked me to write a blog but every time I have tried to start writing I became stuck, my words will not flow (I am never usually stuck for words) and inevitably every first sentence I write ends up in the bin.

After plenty of avoidance I decided that perhaps a good place to start was at the beginning (seems obvious really). The beginning being; what is Capital CBT? What is its purpose? Who is involved? Why is it different from other CBT providers?  So here goes......

Working within the English NHS but living in Wales the difference between the mental health services seemed vast. This seemed so unfair, almost a sense of postcode lottery. Yes, the system in England isn't perfect but it's a darn sight better than in Wales and why should we miss out?! This is where Capital CBT comes in. My aim was to bridge the gap, to provide the services recommended by the NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health and Clinical Evidence) for mental health concerns. These recommendations include: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), it also states that counselling and psychodynamic therapy should be offered but it is important to discuss the uncertainty of the effectiveness of these two treatments with the individual so that they can make an informed choice.  As counselling is often offered on the NHS in Wales and as there are many counsellors already offering private service I decided to focus on some of the other recommendations in the guidelines.

In case it's failing to come through in my words, I have a real passion for mental wellbeing and mental health. I would love to see a world where the stigma surrounding it has gone (easier said than done, I realise this). I would love to see people spending time on their mental health as well as their physical health because both are so interlinked. I would love to see health centres set up that have physical health facilities as well as holistic and talking therapies. Where as much emphasis is given to mental wellbeing as is given to physical wellbeing. This way the whole body is given time and dedication, resulting in better overall health.  After all, stress alone can cause so many physical problems, why aren't we spending more time learning techniques to manage that?

So with a little Welsh fire in my heart, a strong sense of wanting to provide a fairer service and some elbow grease, Capital CBT was born. A service dedicated to short term, evidence based therapy. The emphasis being on short term and evidence based!! The type of therapy we offer has evidence behind it showing that it is effective, there is an abundance of research that shows it works. If there is research suggesting it works, let's use it!! 

So, who is involved within the Capital CBT team? We are a group of chartered psychologists and accredited CBT therapists, registered, chartered, accredited, supervised practitioners. All trained in different types of therapy so that Capital CBT can offer the therapy best suited to your needs. This makes us different.   We also have access to accredited CBT therapists, did you know that there are only 16 BABCP accredited CBT therapists in Cardiff (March 2014 figures), some of whom, including myself, work across the bridge where access to CBT is more readily available. 16!! That's not a lot!! There are also very few EMDR practitioners in South Wales. So we are trying our best to keep these expertise in Wales.

Okay, I feel like I might be going on a bit but my passion for mental wellbeing and reducing stigma is almost overwhelming.  I can't change the world, I can't remove stigma with a click of my fingers but I can provide a service that offers access to evidence based, effective psychological therapies.  This was my reasoning behind setting up Capital CBT.

I am Jo, the founder of Capital CBT and the person on the other end of the phone.  Feel free to call or email to enquire about our service and whether we can help you.  We are on twitter (@CapitalCBT) and Facebook (Capital CBT) so pop along and follow/ like us. Blog post suggestions are also very welcome! 

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