TW mental illness talk, puppy gif spacer bc I love you all!

So I am thinking of giving CBT a shot, maybe booking a starter appointment after the holidays. I have a list of recommendations from the counselor I used to see at my university, so I am set in that way but I think some advice or anecdotes from folks who’ve tried it before would help me get my courage up to make the call.

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I have gotten to a place where I don’t know if I will ever get any farther in getting over past trauma and being able to date and be intimate with men without really focusing on it in therapy. The basic talk therapy I did in college was really helpful for my other issues (anxiety, depression, the usual) but I think I just need to bite the bullet and tackle this problem already. I always prefer to take the direct and pragmatic approach to problems, so CBT sounds like it would be up my alley. I have given myself plenty of time, plenty of space—but I’m still unable to date without panicking and I don’t want to be this way forever.

Basically I am completely terrified of being alone with a man in a romantic setting (I’m not afraid of male doctors or the men I work with or anything), and when I have tried to fight past that feeling and date a guy, I can’t stand to be touched. It triggers fear and nausea. Literally a hot guy touching me someplace innocuous like my waist makes me want to be sick, which just kind of pisses me off. Like really, universe?! THANKS FOR THAT. And to be clear, I am straight and not asexual.

My questions are: What did you do CBT for, and did it help? How many sessions did you have/how long did you do it? Should I only focus on female therapists for this problem? I think I would be fine with a male therapist but maybe it would be a bad idea? Idk. Any other info or advice to share?

Thank you my friends!