Schema Therapy – First assessment

I have been having psychotherapy sessions since August 2016 but with very limited success in my opinion. 

We had hit a brick wall with my detached protector which was really stopping me from being open and vulnerable in session, and shielding me from all painful emotions at all times.

My psychologist felt that we needed to see why my detached protector was so fierce in its role. 

So this past Thursday, we began the assessment of Schema Therapy. This will be done for the next few weeks with visualisation.

The first visualisation she asked me to create was my safe place where I can return to at any time during any even either inside or out of the therapy session.

My safe place was my car. 

I visualised how I was sitting, what I was looking at, my dash, what was on the seat beside me, what was outside the car, what could I hear, what could I smell. 

This was brilliant, I am amazed at how relaxing it felt to begin the session with this very vivid image. This has been a great comfort in the days that have passed, because I know when things are getting amplified I can always in my mind go to my safe place.

Once the image was set, and I was comfortable I was asked to form an image of a time where I remember a distressing event including my mother. 

The memory I chose was not something that I had thought about in years. But in the therapeutic session I was able to remember details and thoughts that I had completely forgotten about. The most striking thing that i got from this was how the mental image when broken down into tiny pieces created a strong emotional response.

I was then asked to describe how I felt, and what could have made the image less distressing.

I was then asked what I would say to all the people in the image that I had.  
Although there was a measure of distress, and I was actually allowing myself to feel some of the emotions – I felt that this was a really positive beginning to a new style of therapy for me.

I am slightly apprehensive for the next session, because I know that there is going to be more distress involved and this is going to gradually increase throughout the assessment process, but I will have my safe place that I can retreat into should the image be too much. 

For the first time I can see that change is actually possible. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile in life comes easily.

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