Taking a step back – Self Awareness

Whenever I reach out inward, by taking a step back for a moment, I see things very differently from what I have in the go-go-go mode.

Just sitting in a chair or couch works best for me to do this mental exercise of self awareness. I then stay in a state of curiosity. This helps me slow down to get into a relaxed mode. Believing in myself helps me in this state, whatever the state I’m in. Then I explore how I feel, what thoughts cross my mind and bring in some kindness to myself to stay gentle in the whole self awareness process. I tend to do this at least twice a week at peak stress days as part of self care to check in with myself and know I can slow down to be aware of my reactions.

What this reveals is a beautiful picture of my day and my reactions to the various happenings. This in turn helps me write out my process recordings with my supervisor in an authentic fashion and process any anomalous reactions in my mind with openness and curiosity. I slowly realized in this field that curiosity about myself and my environment along with critical thinking alone will help me bring a better work – life balance.

Thanks for reading my process for self awareness !

Best,

Shrivi

Breaking the myths behind Mindfulness practice for the benefit of Trauma Survivors

1. Don’t need to close your eyes during mindfulness meditation.

2. Don’t need to sit still to do mindfulness meditation.

3. Staying present in the moment non-judgmentally, even while walking, eating or working, is what is truly being mindful.

4. Don’t need to shut off your mind as your brain is always going to be active, especially with a trauma history.

5. Don’t need to focus on your breath. Trauma victims find this especially triggering with unpredictable outcomes.

6. Mindfulness meditation is not for quick turnaround of results.

7. Mindfulness meditation is not for everyone!

Domestic/Family Violence

Domestic Violence or Family Violence or Intimate Partner Violence  is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

This can happen among a variety of family members as well. This type of violence does not discriminate based on age, sex, religion, gender or sexual orientation. It can take the form of physical/emotional/psychological/sexual/economic abuse. There is an underlying power and control behavior by the abuser/perpetrator over the victim.

Things may seem fine and dandy at the beginning of the relationship but the power and controlling behaviors intensify as the relationship grows.

The key thing to note is a victim is NEVER to be blamed and the abuser is solely at fault for their choices to abuse another human being or an animal.

Domestic violence is real and needs to be seen as a public health issue.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

Take care of yourself!

 

 

 

DBT part 2

Today was all about understanding the dialectics or doing both the acceptance and change of the client’s target (problem) behavior. Unlike CBT, which is focused on change purely, DBT focuses on finding a solution acceptable to both client and therapist that includes both approaches of solving the target behavior called the synthesis.

Then we dived into behavior therapy, specifically operant and classic conditioning. We did understand the positive & negative reinforcement and punishment concepts.

Following this, we did a case specific behavior chain analysis that is essentially a functional analysis of identifying the target behavior, recognizing the precipitating event or the antecedent in general behavior therapy language, in light of that day’s specific vulnerability factors for that client like lack of sleep or hunger etc. It is to be noted that, when identifying the precipitating event, we also want to know what thought & emotion led the client to do the target behavior- the culminating F it moment! These are the key controlling variables we want to track across chain analyses of various events of such critical nature over time. These will show a pattern, that we can then use to reinforce relevant skills that were used during such crises events , as identified as controlling variables. This is a good way to problem solve, is what I understand.

Well that’s it from me on DBT learnings so far ! Enjoy!

Cheers,

Shrivi

DBT part 1

This day has been filled with understanding mindfulness in light of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). I understood the difference between reasonable mind, emotional mind (extremes) and the wise mind that sits at the intersection of these extremes. Wise mind as I understand is to come from a deep sense of knowing the truth! It’s definitely a Zen acceptance concept adapted well in therapy.

I really appreciated the importance given to self-validation to be placed in high priority above other validation strategies used in DBT.

Tomorrow we look at behavior therapy side of things along with details on chain analysis!

See you tomorrow!

Cheers,

Shrivi

Sitting with one’s own emotions

Sitting with my own emotions has been the hardest during recovery. Not knowing the reason behind certain emotions have always been a trigger of their own. But my own words to encourage myself to stay with them helps in a way to take a step back, acknowledge the presence of strong emotions currently, understand that these are present and finally accept them as they are. Acceptance is key in mindfulness. Moreover, self acceptance is crucial. If there is no self-acceptance, there is this new void created expecting it to be possibly filled by others. This becomes a never ending cycle after a few personal storms of our strong emotions, and can possibly lead to depression.

Going along, I realized sitting with my emotions, even while am doing other day to day activities, can be possible on a background thread, being the multitasking individuals that we all are now. It is much different than brewing on “worries”. It is differentiated by focusing on the emotion itself and appreciating its presence. Slowly we may observe that there is an unwinding in ourself, after identifying a triggering event. After this I try to draw a parallel to possible past experiences that come close to this triggering event that caused the strong emotion within. If there are past experiences that come close to this triggering event, then we struck gold! How did we handle that? How did we feel emotionally then? How did we feel physically then? What bodily reactions happened? A quick body scan meditation would help. Taking in these, one step at a time was crucial for me, as steps can be mixed up, especially when multitasking…There are plethora of options on how to move forward after this step of body scan, like personal journaling, one’s usual coping skills, exercise and meditation, and good therapy.

Hope you can sit with this process.

Have a wonderful day ahead!

Best,

Shrivi

 

Affirmations and Summaries

If all that I grasped from Miller and Rollnick’s book was how to do affirmations and summaries , I think my day was well spent! I loved the practice of role playing to summarize and affirm case studies of imaginary clients, and it was totally helpful. It put my senses of reflections in perspective and gave me an extra push to recognize strengths, efforts, values and skills in my clients😅 through these attuned reflections, aka affirmations!

Summaries can be transitional , linking as well as collective and can be rendered merely to fill an awkward pause in the conversation or as we are inundated with too much info and all you need is a break to collect your thoughts so far.

Unjumbled my day through this feat!

Enjoy a wonderful evening!

Cheers,

Shrivi