I’ve been pretty clear that I’m taking classes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT for short) in order to help with my depression symptoms, manage them, and move on. I take classes twice a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays. As such, I have two different facilitators. This has lead to two VERY DIFFERENT CLASSES.
Tuesday’s class, which I had to leave early, was about communication styles and how they can lead to depression or continue to support the cycle. We looked at the idea of passive, aggressive, and the assertive. While we weren’t given a chart, the facilitator drew one up and we worked to complete it. Then there was some work on I statements (which I missed so I could help with Keb’s moving on ceremony), but the worksheet seems pretty good.
This class is PACKED with people. Seriously, we had quite a few and more kept coming. I think we get along, we listen, and we try to be supportive to each other. The best part on Tuesday was when one guy said to a woman, “Do you want to know what your husband was probably thinking?” She said yes, and he was able to give her light on a situation that was bothering her. Then we talked to one young woman about how to stop being a doormat (too passive). When I walk away from this class, I generally feel like we’ve gotten something done. We actually practice communicating in class.
Yesterday’s class, however, was a bust, a bomb, a complete waste of time. The topic was forgiveness, but it was clear before we even started that things weren’t going to go well. First there were only 5 of us. Second, only about 2-3 of us willing to talk, and that whittled down to me and one other guy at best. Three people were seriously SHUT DOWN. One woman does not want to be there. I’m not sure why she is; although, I suspect she’s been “ordered” to. One other guy, who I like very much and usually socialize with, now feels it was a mistake to be there. One woman can’t see her situation changing so her depression is going to stay. The last guy is going through this again, as he has some marital issues.
Yet, while we kind of know the issues, the camaraderie isn’t there. We didn’t dig deep into any situation. We didn’t see solutions for others, thus maybe allowing us to seek solutions in ourselves. Instead there was a lot of long pauses, refusals to participate, and a morose feeling so strong I couldn’t wait to leave.
Of course I’ll return. After six sessions I feel stronger and more capable. I am actually doing my homework and practicing skills learned in class. I know that I’ll need to continue going this school year to keep the level of support high and hopefully keep from relapsing. That said, another session like yesterday’s, and I’m going to ask to move to the other class. I want to get better, and right now, this is not the environment that will help that.