Therapy: Session #4

Today just a short update as I’m very tired due to a cold:

Yesterday we worked on the emergency plan which means looking for the nearest acute psychiatry, inserting friends’ phone numbers and so on. Of course all just in case and hoping I’ll never need to stick to that plan.

I got a huge list with skills I can try and have find an idea for a skills chain until our next appointment. That means a combination of three skills I can use when I’m very upset in order to calm down more and more. I will write something about skills very soon; at the moment I have lots of things I can use when I drift off and disscoiate but as the urge to self-harm wasn’t very present over the last few days I can’t yet tell whether the same things can help me with that.

We also talked about the last few Diary Cards and made a little change: Until now I documentend my keeping wounds open as one of the problematic behaviours but as everything has healed now I will use these columns for something else until further notice and that’s bad memories/intrusions/flashbacks – just to observe how often they come, how long it takes until I’m back in reality and so on. We’ll see how it goes, I guess this can be a lot more distressing that the other columns but I want to get going and not waste space with a behaviour that can’t occur at the moment anyway.

At the end of our session I had to fill in a questionaire with lots of different statements one can use to describe themselves. I just had to say how much these statements apply to me, like a personality test. I’m curious what my therapist will think about my answers.

And then the most important thing: We signed the therapy contract. That might sound weird but for me this was quite something, not just a random sheet I write my name onto. One of the points is: “I will not attempt suicide during the time I undergo therapy.” – and even though I really didn’t have that in mind and don’t want to do that right now signing this life-affirming statement in front of another person, taking it seriously and seemingly being bound to it did something to me. I know it’s just a sheet of paper which can’t actually prevent me from anything but that’s not what this is about. When I give my word I keep it and that’s a huge thing in this case.

We now have a good month’s break, our next appointment is January 21st and until then it’s not just a few weeks but also christmas, seeing relatives and a new year so a potentially turbulent time. I hope I can tell my therapist about some successes concerning skills and not just about a “I somehow got through it” next time I see her.

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