I had my first Individual session today, new therapist, who had apparently read my file, not sure she had as for some reason she thought I had chronic back pain, but still, she was very upfront, very forthright, very nice and very pushy.
Somehow I found myself promising to call her every day to try and deal with my phone phobia so that I can participate in “phone coaching’ part of the program – if you can’t implement one of the new skills they give you on your own, or you have a handy crisis during business hours, you can call the DBT team. MAJOR freak out for me as phone is very scary…but on we go.
Part of DBT is filling in a diary card with behaviours you have done, such as SI, Suicidal thoughts, ODing on meds and how you feel, every day – she said that some people find this confronting – I think I might find it easy – that way she’ll know how I’ve felt without me having to talk for half the session every week about all my crisis and how I tried to stop myself SI-ing and why it didn’t work – it all goes on the sheet. Stopping SI is their major, major goal…apparently they will give me other skills to try and that is the first thing that individual therapy deals with, that and OD-ing and suicidal thoughts – anything that will harm you basically – so tha’ts good.
The therapist (can I call her Linda for ease?) also told me that she sees SI as a coping mechanism, and even though I’m SIing so often I’m not bad, or doing anything wrong, I just don’t have any other coping skills yet, and if I have them and still SI sometimes that’s ok too – So it really seems like they understand it.
But on Thursday I have my first group – I’m going into an already established group (there are 3-4 of us who will be new) which seems a little daunting, and starting with Mindfullness, which apparently will really help me with disassociation and flash backs, so fingers crossed. Its a twelve month commitment too which Linda said scares most people (not me, I actually feel like its doing something properly – although ask me again in 6 months :) I do get ‘holidays’ of 3 weeks between each unit though). Linda also said that DBT isn’t a cure, just skills to make things easier – not sure how I feel about that yet as I was kind of clinging to it as a lifeline – the message board may see me break down quite dramatically later on tonight….
[Avril aka hopefulav]
Thank you Avril.