Assimilating the model

Dear Brooke,
You are a great master at performing or working the model. I try to do it everyday and I definitely do it when feeling the need to. For example, I used it to understand and cope with a work conflict i had recently.
However, it still seems difficult or challenging to populate the fields and also to be sure if I did it correctly. Secondly, if my emotions are strong (negative), and i work the model and realize i need to change my thoughts about something, it is still so hard when my negative thoughts about an event or about other people are overwhelming.
My question to you is, how long did it take you to feel comfortable and effective in working and applying the model in your life and to your problems? months? years? Just curious. I really want to get to a place where I can just whip out a model in my head, in the moment and feel the benefits. Like second nature.