In this session we will introduce you to the program and you will be encouraged to think about what you want to achieve while completing the activities we have prepared for you for the next 9 weeks.
Understanding how what we think affects the way we feel and behave is the most important part of this program and you may find the techniques which will be discussed this week particularly useful in coping wih stressful situations.
In this session we will focus on relaxation. You will have the opportunity to practice several types of relaxation and master techniques which you can then use in every day life to improve your mental health.
In week 4 of the CBT program you will be learning how to challenge negative thoughts which contribute to feeling anxious or depressed. The techniques introduced here should help you in managing unuseful thoughts about your IBD and living with it.
Avoidance of unpleasant feelings and situations is commonly used as a way to cope with a chronic illness such as IBD. However, avoidance only helps short-term and may be harmful long-term. This week we will introduce you to techniques which help overcome avoidance.
During this session we will discuss the concept of assertiveness. You will be provided with suggestions on how to become assertive in your communication with people important in your life, including the health professionals. Good communication skills are known to reduce the amount of everyday stress.
IBD is an unpredictable and challenging condition and coping with it is not always easy. This week we will focus on building your coping strategies so that you are better prepared for dealing with everyday difficulties imposed by your IBD.
Social support plays an important role in maintiaing good mental health. In week 8 we are going to raise the awareness of social support in the life of people with IBD. We will discuss ways to increase your social support and better utilise the support you currently have for the benefit of your overall health.
This week we will return to the issue of coping strategies which we introduced earlier on in the program. This time we will however focus specifically on attention and distraction demonstrating few more techniques of good coping with IBD and managing pain.
The last session of the program is dedicated to revising what you have learnt during the last 10 weeks. We will also discuss how you can protect yourself from falling for bad habits, old and unuseful coping strategies, to help you maintain long-term mental health.