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Re: the frustration continues crushedout

Posted by fallsfall on June 2, 2004, at 8:52:31

In reply to Re: the frustration continues fallsfall, posted by crushedout on June 1, 2004, at 18:54:08

My therapist was CBT. She diagnosed me as BPD, and I went to the bookstore and found the skills training manual. I brought it to her, she hadn't seen it before (It was 1996 or 1997), but liked it. Then she got a flier about a DBT Skills class being held in town. I signed up. She went to the weekly therapists meetings (and didn't charge me - I think she saw it as education for her. Worked well for both of us). I went to 6 months of Skill Training. We started with 6 or 8 people, but all but N. and I dropped out. So it ended up being a group of 2.

I looked up my diary cards. I remember them as being helpful in giving me a place to record what happened and how I was feeling. The cards I filled out were NOT like Linehan's. Mine looked like this:

Today I felt (0-9):
Good, Happy
Anxious, Tense
Empty, Alone
Unreal, Disconnected
Physically bad

Today I felt an urge to (0-9):
Kill myself
Binge or purge
Drink or take drugs
Injure myself
(also * if I acted on the urge on that day)

Activities for each day

There was a chart for the "I felt" and "Urges" sections - each day I rated each item (i.e Good, happy was a 4, injure myself was a 0).

In the activities section I had a list of things I did:
Slept very poorly
3 kids on the bus
Take daughter to Dr. for urine test
Take her to Volleyball

2 cookies (I was trying to control my junk food intake...)

2 ativan (I recorded PRN meds, or if I forgot my meds)

On the back, I wrote a short paragraph on the day:

Slept really poorly (tried relax tape at 5AM...) If I sat on the couch I would fall asleep. Rested all day. Really didn't think about anything. Comforted by remembering that T said I did a good job. I feel better now than this morning. Junior Coaching starts tomorrow. I hope I have enough energy. Haven't had skates on in 6 months. Hope they fit, hope I can skate.

I will email you (or others) a week's chart filled out if you want.

I'm glad that your therapist is being flexible. That is important. Has she done DBT with other patients in the past? If there is a group nearby, I really do recommend doing the skills training in a group.

Don't get "stuck" on a skill that you don't get. Give it a reasonable amount of time and effort, and then go on. Being in a group helps this, because you aren't tempted to keep working on something for an individual since the group has to go on. You can always go back to things later. It is important not to get too frustrated and if you keep moving on, then maybe the next skill will be easier for you. You may need to go through ALL of the skills multiple times (Linehan "requires" 2 6 month Skills sessions - or more). But doing the course in 6 months and the repeating the whole thing in the next 6 months is MUCH better than doing the course in 12 months (due to the frustration factor). The first time through may end up being more of "These are the things that we want you to learn, just get used to the idea that these skills would be helpful for you. Learn the ones that are easy for you." The second time perhaps would be more "Practice the ones that were easy, and learn some new ones".

I really think it is worth sticking it out.

Let me know if you have other questions, either by posting or by emailing.




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