For as long as I can remember I had feelings on anxiety and panic. It manifested itself in different ways but the most troubling was when it came to my relationships with men. I have dated numerous wonderful men over the years and, some of them, I really loved. But there was always a part of me that was convinced that my partners would leave me and that I’d be left hurt and alone. I would therefore sabotage my relationships, trying to force my partners to leave me so that I was at least in control of what I felt was inevitable. I would also lead a duplicitous life, dating two men at once and therefore keeping my options open so that if one left, I had the other to fall back on.

I always knew this wasn’t healthy yet I felt powerless to control it. I thought I was an awful person because whenever I tried to do the right thing, like commit to one man, I felt anxious and panicked. I wasn’t secure and happy which was what should come with being in a stable relationship.

It got to the point where I just couldn’t bear to continue along the same route I was heading – I was unhappy and anxious and could see my life stretching ahead of me with the same pattern being repeated again and again. I decided to take action and try therapy but I wanted a therapy with tangible actions so that I could track my progress and feel like I was taking steps to make improvements in my life. I also wasn’t interested in attending therapy for an indefinite amount of time – I wanted results in a short period and was prepared to work hard to get those results. I researched Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and this felt like the right route for me to take.

I consider meeting Karen a major turning point in my life. Together we set manageable goals to achieve what I wanted. The process was daunting and incredibly difficult but, as I felt this was my only hope, I was totally committed to the process and threw myself into it with all my energy. Karen was totally supportive, kind, compassionate and caring. She guided me on this painful journey and, often when I thought it might be too difficult to endure, she encouraged me and helped me keep on track.