CBT but not that CBT!

When working in social housing the company which employed me, diversified and began to take on service users with severe and enduring mental illness.

The brother of a colleague was a mental health practitioner. He came in to do some training and talk us through the manifestation of conditions so we would know what to expect.

I don’t think he was prepared for us knowing absolutely nothing. I had to keep interjecting and explaining some of the jargon he used and asking him to define other terms that were also unknown to me.

It had been a very tense session as many of my colleagues were unsure if they wanted to remain as support workers to the new user group. This demystifying and understanding of terms, explaining common diagnosis and interventions was invaluable to us.

Then he started to talk about CBT, and in the corner, his gay brother collapsed into raptures of hysterical laughter. The sort of laughter that is contagious. The others did not know why they were laughing, or what the trigger for it had been. Our trainer was looking completely puzzled by it all.

I too was guilty of sharing in the laughing, mostly because I was the only one in the room that knew what was funny. Finally, I regained some composure and explained the term CBT had been used as a reference to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and not Cock and Ball Torture, which is why the gay brother had fallen about laughing.

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In a world of acronyms, it is inevitable there will be a duplication of some. CBT is unfortunate as it stands for 3 that are known to me Compulsory Basic Training to ride a motorbike being the third.

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