Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 624046

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Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by Dinah on July 12, 2006, at 22:31:48

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 » canadagirl, posted by fallsfall on July 12, 2006, at 20:22:59

My question is how do you do the observing exercises without dissociating?

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by Jost on July 12, 2006, at 23:18:54

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 » canadagirl, posted by fallsfall on July 12, 2006, at 20:22:59

Mindfulness is esp. hard when I feel like I need it the most. And it's hardest to stay with the feeling, even if I do achieve it for a few minutes.

I don't really dissociate, I mostly feel bombarded with negative thoughts, which don't stop when I try to observe, or pull away from the negativity.

I almost wish I could dissociate-- maybe there's a way of working back from there, to some feeling, with an element of distance. If you do it slowly, and by small steps.

For me, when I fall back into the torrent, it's like proof that it won't work--that it's too strong for me . I almost feel stupider (bad word) trying again, when it doesn't work.

Has anyone found ways to develop that ability to keep on trying and not get caught up in that thought that having to try so hard and continually failing-- even within a few minutes-- means you might as well give up?

Jost

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Dinah

Posted by Phillipa on July 12, 2006, at 23:28:27

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Dinah on July 12, 2006, at 22:31:48

Good point phillipa

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Jost

Posted by Dinah on July 13, 2006, at 0:17:49

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Jost on July 12, 2006, at 23:18:54

I think that's where the bicycle metaphor comes in. You just can't try it a few times and expect it to work. You have to practice, practice, practice until it's second nature. Boring, isn't it? :)

I found something I could observe without dissociating. I have always loved to sit in the bath and let water run over my hand. I can easily observe the sensations without either dissociating or commenting on them in my mind. Maybe if I can remember that feeling, I can hold on to it when my inclination is to step outside of myself to observe or describe.

Or wait. Maybe that's participating.

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by Jost on July 13, 2006, at 11:21:39

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Jost, posted by Dinah on July 13, 2006, at 0:17:49

> I think that's where the bicycle metaphor comes in. You just can't try it a few times and expect it to work. You have to practice, practice, practice until it's second nature. Boring, isn't it? :)
>
> I found something I could observe without dissociating. I have always loved to sit in the bath and let water run over my hand. I can easily observe the sensations without either dissociating or commenting on them in my mind. Maybe if I can remember that feeling, I can hold on to it when my inclination is to step outside of myself to observe or describe.
>
> Or wait. Maybe that's participating.


Looking at the "observing/describing/participating page last night, I was trying to decide if they weren't almost the same thing. Maybe not describing, but observing and participating.

If I'm really observing I'm also participating-- not necessarily by actively doing anything. I'm very involved in the moment, and whatever is happening. If I were going to interact or act, I might observe less, and put more of myself into simply doing or saying the thing--

I was thinking about walking through the park. I can be observing the wind, the grass, the people around me-- but where does that become participating?

Maybe when something more disturbing happens-- they become more distinct. Then I would want to observe more, if only to participate in a better way, but being able to move into observing while I'm in the situation? Is there a way of knowing how to observe well enough that you do it, but put it to the side, and participate, while being somewhat in touch with the observing?

So I was trying to figure out if they're supposed to be distinct activities, or to be complementary, or partly flow into one another--

Describing is the most distanced, to me, because I'm searching mentally for words that fit the thing, and that takes me away from it, bringing me to a more abstract place.

Jost

 

Re: Diary cards

Posted by Jost on July 13, 2006, at 11:26:31

In reply to Re: Diary cards, posted by gardenergirl on July 10, 2006, at 22:30:32

The mood card that gg posted above is pretty useful. I think I'm going to try filling that out.

Has anyone started filling out a diary card?

Jost

 

Having a bad week..but I'll post very soon (nm)

Posted by gardenergirl on July 13, 2006, at 16:49:53

In reply to Re: Diary cards, posted by Jost on July 13, 2006, at 11:26:31

 

Re: Diary cards Jost

Posted by canadagirl on July 13, 2006, at 23:14:09

In reply to Re: Diary cards, posted by Jost on July 13, 2006, at 11:26:31

I started filling one out in writing...then I gave up on the writing and started filling it out mentally when I think about it. I don't think that's the same :)
(having a little trouble this week)

 

Re: Diary cards canadagirl

Posted by Jost on July 14, 2006, at 11:11:03

In reply to Re: Diary cards Jost, posted by canadagirl on July 13, 2006, at 23:14:09

Writing is definitely different, in my experience. That's why I'd like to do the writing.

Problem is, I find I need more space-- I either have a comment, or more items than fit on the card, so I might try to configure something differently, but base it on the structure of a diary card.

Is there anything about the shapes, or categories that doesn't work for you, canadagirl?

The other problem is having it with me-- or seeing it at some point when I'm in the right space to fill it out. Guess that's what I need to work on-- just a rhythm or habit of doing it more than episodically.

Jost

 

Re: Diary cards Jost

Posted by canadagirl on July 16, 2006, at 7:44:37

In reply to Re: Diary cards canadagirl, posted by Jost on July 14, 2006, at 11:11:03

>>> Is there anything about the shapes, or categories that doesn't work for you, canadagirl?
....Guess that's what I need to work on-- just a rhythm or habit of doing it more than episodically<<<

I think that's the same type of thing with me. Getting into a habit of doing it. At work I think of taking a few minutes and then I think, nah, just think about the categories and how I'm feeling and that will be OK. At home there is always something else with the kids that takes priority. Then I feel like giving the whole exercise up and thinking, what's the use, I'll never get this done anyway so might as well give up now. (That's a sure sign this will be good for me. Because I want to give it up already :)

 

Re: Diary cards canadagirl

Posted by Jost on July 16, 2006, at 10:57:19

In reply to Re: Diary cards Jost, posted by canadagirl on July 16, 2006, at 7:44:37

Hi, canadagirl. I'm glad someone's out there with this.

The last two days, I've kept a record of a few things, not so detailed.

I decided too much detail makes it hard to get an overview of what's happening. (Esp. with my handwriting). A number system doesn't resonate for me, so I've used a poor-fair-good-excellent (no E's yet, though), with plus (+) and minus (-).

I took one of the diary cards, and redivided it, and renamed categories.

My categories so far are:

sleep, appointment , exercise, shoulder work, mood.

(Shoulder is for shoulder problems I'm trying to work on, esp. with posture,etc.)

For sleep, I put when I get up and when I get into bed, and when I actually go to sleep (more or less).

I use the accomplishment category for overall mood, or if anything notable happens. For example, I finally put down a drop cloth in my studio, which I'm been saying I needed to do for a few weeks--so I noted that.

Also in one of my T appointments, I said that it was a good appointment,and that I felt better, which my T really liked (I never say much that's good). So that is in the accomplishment section.

I'm esp. also working on not tearing myself apart after something good happens, which is a strong, self-destructive tendency (of course, as my T say, I'm protecting something by doing it, but at a great cost). So that's a big part of the mood element, which I'm conscious of.

;;;;

What things would you like to keep track of, or work on? Let me know how it's going.

Any particular categories for you? Have you used numbers (0-5)?

Jost

 

How are you gg?

Posted by Jost on July 16, 2006, at 10:59:16

In reply to Having a bad week..but I'll post very soon (nm), posted by gardenergirl on July 13, 2006, at 16:49:53

Hey there, gg!

Are you okay? I'm getting worried about you.

Jost

 

Re: Diary cards Jost

Posted by canadagirl on July 16, 2006, at 16:36:36

In reply to Re: Diary cards canadagirl, posted by Jost on July 16, 2006, at 10:57:19

>> I decided too much detail makes it hard to get an overview of what's happening. <<

Yep, that's true.

>>Also in one of my T appointments, I said that it was a good appointment,and that I felt better, which my T really liked (I never say much that's good). <<<

It will also be good to refer to that when you are having a bad day, reading that will bring that good feeling back.

>>I'm esp. also working on not tearing myself apart after something good happens, which is a strong, self-destructive tendency<<<

That's a good one to work on....

>>> (of course, as my T say, I'm protecting something by doing it, but at a great cost).<<<

I think sometimes we need to protect ourselves,
against ourselves, and our own self destructive tendencies.

>>> What things would you like to keep track of, or work on? <<

Procrastination, negativity and to keep myself going doing the things I need to do even when I don't feel like it..what would you call that. I'm not rating myself really but writing comments (or, as this week, thinking comments....but now I'm actually writing them.)

Good luck to you this week.

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Jost

Posted by Dinah on July 18, 2006, at 20:33:37

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Jost on July 13, 2006, at 11:21:39

I spoke to my therapist about this. He isn't familiar with DBT but he has trained in mindfulness, in the Buddhist tradition.

I don't think he seemed all that clear on participating vs. observing either. He seemed to think you should be an observing participant. But I might have misunderstood, because I find the whole thing more than a bit confusing. I'll try reading it again today.

I downloaded the Excel version of the diary card, just because I hate to write and hoped that a computer version would be more likely to be filled out. It's not.

I think I get a bit overwhelmed by all those boxes, trying to figure out what they mean, etc. and go into avoidance mode.

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by Jost on July 18, 2006, at 22:41:27

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Jost, posted by Dinah on July 18, 2006, at 20:33:37

There are too many boxes, for sure. And lots of them don't apply, so they're taking space away from comments, or more than just the bottom line of what does apply.

I can't get my mind around the 0-5 thing. Like if I don't do something that I shouldn't do (so to speak), it's a 0 (which is good) but then if I do something that I'm trying to do, I guess that's a 0 too (which is good)- or is it 5? If both good and bad are 0-- I'm confused-- but if 0 and 5 are flip-flopping, that's confusing too.

Or maybe I didn't read carefully enough-- but I just am using my Fair-Poor system (I do have one or two Goods-- but it's mostly Fair and Poor).

I prefer the computer to my handwriting--too-- but then my handwriting starts speading and spilling all over the place-- I have this smallness/lots of information compulsion. It's *always* so complicated.

I agree totally with participant-observer idea. I can see just observing, or just participating-- but--unless at some point, you;ve achieved enlightenment, I think you'd need to be doing a lot of both, especially when you're trying to use them to change patterns.

Or maybe you can switch back and forth-- like multi-tasking. Not sure.

Jost

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Jost

Posted by Dinah on July 19, 2006, at 9:57:59

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Jost on July 18, 2006, at 22:41:27

I wonder if it's ok, since this is less formal, to keep a diary card in front of me, but keep my notes in a narrative format in a daily journal. Making sure to note all those things that are on the cards.

I understand Falls point that it's useful to see patterns at a glance, and maybe that's easier in the card format. Maybe I just need to force myself past being overwhelmed.

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Dinah

Posted by Jost on July 19, 2006, at 21:40:13

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Jost, posted by Dinah on July 19, 2006, at 9:57:59

Hi, Dinah.

Whatever works, is best, I'd think. Maybe at another point, you'll do the notes, and then translate them into some sort of shorthand-- if there is one that feels natural, and that you might look at later.

I thought about writing more complex notes, too--but, then I never reread anything I've written, unless it's to revise it for some reason-- and even then, I use what I've written in a word-processing program.

So I thought the card had the virtue of being concrete-- not inscrutable--something your eye just moves over, and you see the big picture.

Reductionistic, and somehow not satisfying my temperament-- but, on the other hand, easily accessible.

I'm considering using both-- a diary book (a nice journal type of datebook) where I can put details-- and also a corresponding card, which represents a summary of each day.

One of the cores principles of DBT seems to be "do what works"--without being captured by some idea of the "right way"-- so in that spirit, if a journal is what works now-- it achieves the goal.

Jost

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by Phillipa on July 19, 2006, at 21:42:34

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Dinah, posted by Jost on July 19, 2006, at 21:40:13

Hey what happened to gg? Love Phillipa

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 Phillipa

Posted by Jost on July 20, 2006, at 19:42:34

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Phillipa on July 19, 2006, at 21:42:34

That's what I"ve been wondering. Thanks for asking, Phillipa.

Does anyone know if something happened?

Jost

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by Dinah on July 21, 2006, at 17:00:32

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Phillipa on July 19, 2006, at 21:42:34

I chatted with her briefly. She's ok, just overwhelmed with work, and will be here as soon as she can.

 

I just watched the videotape

Posted by Dinah on July 22, 2006, at 21:06:48

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Dinah on July 21, 2006, at 17:00:32

Marsha Linehan said that the ultimate goal is participating. That observing and describing are done with the goal of participating in mind.

So that if you are participating, and there is a problem, you step back to observe and describe, and then when the problem is solved you go back to participating.

That isn't what it sounded like in the books, so it surprised me a bit. I might have to watch the video again.

http://behavioraltech.org/store/details.cfm?product_code=VT05

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by canadagirl on July 24, 2006, at 17:34:51

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Jost on July 13, 2006, at 11:21:39

Does anyone want to continue on to lesson 2? (Wherever it is? Does anyone know where a link is?) Maybe GG has a lot on her plate right now.

 

Re: Mindfulness lesson 1

Posted by Dinah on July 24, 2006, at 17:50:07

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by canadagirl on July 24, 2006, at 17:34:51

Is everyone comfortable with understanding Lesson 1? Has anyone tried practicing it?

I haven't done such a good job of it, I'm afraid, or of keeping my diary cards.

 

DBT class

Posted by puravida on July 24, 2006, at 19:21:47

In reply to Re: Mindfulness lesson 1 , posted by Dinah on July 24, 2006, at 17:50:07

Hey all - I haven't been keeping up... :) Q: I have an opportunity to attend a DBT class. It's during the week, in the morning (2 1/2 hrs). I am trying to decide if it is worth/safe to take the time from work. I have the flexibility, but I am v. worried about how it would look, being gone one morning a week. Ironically, I am thinking that the DBT class would probably help me with this thinking process...

thoughts?

 

Lesson 1

Posted by Dinah on July 27, 2006, at 0:29:08

In reply to DBT class, posted by puravida on July 24, 2006, at 19:21:47

Regarding the original questions, I think I have a situation where this question applies.

Can you think of a situation in your life in which using this skill might have been helpful? How do you think the outcome would have been different? Can you make a plan to use it in a situation that is upcoming and might be difficult?

I'm trying to attack my enthusiasms as a problem rather than in positive terms, but I have difficulty knowing when I'm in one. I don't seem to have any insight at all until I'm out again.

My therapist wants me to be more aware of what I'm doing when I enter into this state, and I think mindfulness skills would help me do that.

I think the observing and describing skills would be especially useful, since participating isn't a problem at these times.


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