I get the impression that you are a highly sensitive individual. By this I mean that what other people say or think about you is important. Because of this trait, it is important to recognize that you may be overreacting. You don’t need the permission of a therapist or anyone else to validate what you should and should not do. If the anxiety workbook helped you then you should use it for as long as you feel necessary. You are a free individual. You are free to do anything you want, including using exercises from a book that has proven to be helpful to you. No permission is necessary.
I understand that you were upset at your therapist. Your perception of the situation was that he was being insensitive to you and your needs. Perhaps that was the case but as I mentioned above, your reaction might have been inappropriate. Your therapist may have been attempting to make you feel better. He may have been trying to compliment you and to help you gain confidence when he said that you “seem to do okay.” He may also have been attempting to ease your nervousness and to normalize your feelings when he said that “everyone gets nervous in sessions.”
You were angry at your therapist because he told you to stop using the book but you did not inform him that it helped you. Had he known that it benefited you then he may have had a different opinion.
The truth is that his opinion of the book really should not matter. As I’ve indicated, if you like it then you should use it.
Each individual is unique. The most popular treatment for anxiety will not work for everyone. What’s most important about therapy is to find a treatment that works for the individual client.
I would suggest returning to treatment. Try not to be angry at your therapist and discuss with him your opinion of the book. It’s important that you be fully honest with him about how you’re feeling. Communication is very important during therapy. Perhaps once he knows how you feel then he could incorporate the book into your treatment. If he’s not willing to do this then you may want to consider another therapist.
The goal is to find a therapist who you feel comfortable with, who you like and who you feel respects you. If you choose to search for a new therapist it might be helpful if you mentioned the anxiety workbook to each therapist you contact and ask if he or she would be willing to include it as part of your treatment. I would advise against only using the workbook and forgoing therapy. I believe it is important that you continue therapy, primarily because of your cutting behavior.
In case you choose not to stay with your current therapist, here’s a link to Psychology Today. This service may help you locate a new therapist in your community. Thank you for your question.