Tuesday, 20 October 2020

What is it you want to create?

But if the evaluation of the thought is ineffective, clients may believe the worksheet won't be helpful to them. In the following section, LENNY and I have used the list of Socratic questions from the Testing Your Thoughts Worksheet to evaluate his thought GLENNY won't want to go with me, and he feels better. Next, I introduce that worksheet. PAULINE: Good. Now I'd like to show you a worksheet [Figures 15. It's called Testing Your Thoughts. It's just an organized way of writing down what we just did. PAULINE: (showing it to LENNY) It may take some practice for you to get really good at it. Truly consider all the points you would like to place within each of these categories but don't feel pressured if you can't think of more than one or two at the most. This should be a positive exercise, not a stressful one. Recognizing the Problem One stressor can cause a lot of symptoms, and it won't be long before your stress symptoms become stressors as well. The first part in structuring your stress management plan is determining the cause of your tension instead of just focusing on how to make the symptoms go away. Use your stress management techniques to help you calm down and think clear thoughts but don't stop there. Get to the source of the problem and make a plan for managing it. For example, if you realize that you're constantly getting agitated at your desk, you have chronic headaches, and you feel ill whenever you enter your office, you need to do some investigating. Similar to a detective working a crime scene and developing a list of suspects, you need to investigate the possible suspects that cause you so much stress. Perhaps, it's the way your desk is arranged or that one particular coworker emails you way too much. In this article, let's look at some of those worries--abduction, technology, guns, and bullies--and discuss what we can do to help keep our kids safe. Our fears intensify when we hear of a child snatched off the street but the reality is stranger abductions are rare.

In the last nationwide study, out of 800,000 reports of missing kids in one year, a much smaller number, 115, were taken by a stranger. Family members--usually a result of a custody dispute--take far more kids than strangers do. And the vast majority of missing children are lost, abandoned or runaway from home. Also included in the number are kids whose parents report them missing before finding out they were just not where they said they'd be. Even if there's a low probability your child will be snatched off the street by a stranger, as parents, our job is to educate our kids on how to stay safe. The good news is there are some simple strategies to accomplish this. DON'T SAY DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS Little ones have a hard time grasping the concept of a stranger. This exercise tends to be more effective for more `visual' people. Again, hopefully it helped you to separate or distance from your thought: to see that it is constructed out of words. Now, once again tune in to your mind, and for ten seconds, notice what it's telling you. So how's your mind reacting? Maybe it's excited: `Wow! That was amazing! They're true! Whatever your mind is doing, please allow it to have its reaction. And if that reaction is particularly strong and unhelpful, then I invite you to try something. It's a little technique, developed by Steve Hayes, called `thanking your mind'. So, expect to make some mistakes along the way. These mistakes will actually be useful--we'll see what was confusing, so I can prepare you better the next time.

PAULINE: (showing side 1 to LENNY) Here at the top, it reminds you that your thoughts might or might not be true. Then it tells you when to use it. I think it'll take you about 5 minutes to do it, maybe a little more. It also lets you know that not every question may apply, that spelling, handwriting, and grammar don't count, that if you feel 10% better, it was worth doing, and it also lists cognitive distortions. PAULINE: (turning to the other side) This side is self-explanatory. You just read a question, and if seems to apply, you write the answer next to it. Do you have any questions? LENNY: No, I think I understand. By knowing what stressors cause your symptoms, you can then either address or eliminate their cause. Avoiding Stress Earlier in the article, we discussed The Four A's, one of which was avoid. Here, you want to take all that you learned from that section and apply it to your stress management plan. Think about the people you want to and can avoid, the places you can avoid, and the things you can avoid doing. If certain people are stressful to be around, don't visit them (at least not on your own), or block them on your phone if you know that taking their calls will upset you. If going to the mall causes you unnecessary stress, avoid going there. If rushing around makes you stress in all directions, avoid leaving things to the last minute. Stress can also be avoided if you don't take on too many responsibilities or make promises you can't keep. Next, another part of recognizing your stressors for what they truly are is investigating what types of stress that you can let go of completely. Most children hear the word stranger and imagine someone who is mean and looks scary or dirty. Someone who acts nice and looks normal is not a stranger in their eyes and unfortunately, kidnappers and molesters know this.

Many will spiff up their appearance in an effort to lure your child away easier. Also, teaching your child never to talk to strangers can backfire if one day your child needs the help of a stranger. Imagine what would happen if she's lost in the mall and she won't talk to a policemen or a store clerk. Finally, the chance your child will be abducted or exploited by a stranger is slim. Seventy-five percent of kidnapped children are abducted by a family member or someone they recognize. Instead of trying to explain who is and who isn't a stranger, focus on teaching your child to watch out for bad adult behavior like inappropriate touching, asking her for help, and telling her to keep secrets. DEVELOP A PLAN OF ACTION Developing a plan of action with your kids is the best way to be sure they will know what to do if they're ever approached by a potential predator. Whatever your mind says - no matter how provocative, nasty or scary it may be - you silently reply, with a sense of humour, `Thanks mind. Remember, we're not trying to stop our minds from having these reactions; THE POWER OF WORDS You've probably heard the quotation, `The pen is mightier than the sword. For example, articles, scriptures and manifestos can, in certain situations, shape entire nations far more powerfully than violence, bloodshed and warfare. Likewise, in a state of fusion, those words inside our heads can have a huge impact upon us. They can dredge up panic or despair; However, in a state of defusion, our thoughts are nothing more nor less than words. Hopefully you got to experience that, at least to some degree, in the previous exercises. If you didn't, no matter; PAULINE: What do you think? Is it okay if we take another automatic thought and see if you can use the worksheet?

Make sure that clients can successfully complete one of the worksheets in session before you suggest it as an Action Plan assignment. For some clients, it's better to introduce the Thought Record in two stages. In one session, you might teach clients to fill in the first four columns and ask them to do the same at home when they're feeling upset. If it goes well, you can then teach them to use the final two columns at the following session. WHEN A WORKSHEET ISN'T HELPFUL ENOUGH As with any technique in CBT, it's important not to overemphasize the importance of worksheets. Most clients, at some point, find that completing a particular worksheet did not provide much relief. If you emphasize its general usefulness and stuck points as an opportunity for learning, you help clients avoid automatic thoughts critical of themselves, the therapy, the worksheet, or you. It's not easy to let go of things that have affected us or been a part of who we are for the longest time; You do yourself a great injustice by hanging onto bad habits or grudges. The whole aim of stress management is to help you let go, and the first to go is tension, but that's just the beginning of a long list of things you need to relieve yourself of. When putting your stress management plan together, you need to consider all the negatives you've been holding onto and try to put them behind you. The fewer issues you drag around, the more you can focus on new beginnings. Here are a few negative stressors that you should let go of (Scott, 2020): Grudges - Holding onto a grudge can do more harm to you than to the other party, because while you continue to wallow in your misery and resentment, they live their lives to the fullest without giving the past a second thought. Life needs to go on for you, too, so you need to let go of your disgruntlement before it makes you physically ill. Grudges do nothing but invite in stress, unhappiness, and anxiety into your life. Granted, letting go of a serious grudge is not the easiest thing to do, but at some point, you will have to make a conscious decision to forgive and release yourself from all that negativity. Plus it will make them a more difficult target, which could ultimately prevent them from being taken. The first part of the plan is to create the no-exceptions rule--your child should always ask for your permission before they accept anything or go anywhere with an adult.

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