My therapist was satisfactorily superior in intellect, and well experienced. He was able to indulge my newly learnt preachings and my compulsion to understand my illness in an academic context. Slowly, we began to introduce the paper-based therapies. They were incredibly effective. The one that helped most in the following few years was the Thought Record.
The Thought Record enables you to explore specific 'hot' thoughts that cause you distress. You work through the specific thought by completing the sections of the chart; how it makes you feel, what it makes you think, the factual evidence for and against the thought and so on. This process enables you to see the distressing thoughts from a clearer, more objective perspective, resulting in a lessened emotional response. You can find the version I used here.
I was startled by how well this worked for me. I no longer use the chart, as its techniques have become a more habitual part of my thought processing, but I know that I can come back to it at any time. If you're feeling sceptical about CBT, try and put that aside because when it works, it really works.
P.S. I think I'm going to change the template for this website. It's too blue.
P.P.S I'm worried that "following my breakdown.." will become my "..the lead singer of elbow"