The ABC Monitoring worksheet is for identifying beliefs that play a role in producing our emotional and behavioural reactions to situations. Triggering situations are recorded in the “A” column, and reactions in the “C” column. Thoughts and beliefs that produced those reactions are then recorded in the “B” column. It is useful to use this tool in conjunction with a list of common cognitive distortions so that unhelpful beliefs can be categorised according to relevant cognitive distortions.
Sometimes our ability to process emotions while still engaging in logical processing of information may not be as developed as we would like. This can contribute to problems such as saying or doing things when we are angry, frightened or sad that we might later wish we had said or done differently. The Describe Your Emotions worksheet, adapted from a tool in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by McKay, Brantley, Wood & Marra, is a tool you can use to train yourself over time to build stronger communication pathways between emotional processing centres and other information processing centres in your brain.
The All in the Mind program on ABC’s Radio National recently aired a good segment on effective treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Treatment is out there, and it works. To listen to the program, or read the transcript, follow the link here: Borderline personality disorder—what works?
On the program Catherine Bennett, formerly diagnosed with BPD, says the following:
BPD is not a choice, but recovery is. And like any mental illness, no one ever chooses to have a mental illness, but fighting for recovery, having a life worth living, that’s a choice. And making that choice is the first step.
If you would like to know more about BPD, you may also like to read Life on the Line – what is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Time has gotten the better of me lately, and I haven’t followed up on writing about the progression of my motivation experiment since day 21. So here I am picking it up again.
Have you ever noticed that many people are emotionist? This is a made-up word I am using here to refer to people being prejudiced against certain emotions. Some emotions are treated as acceptable – or even admirable – while others are treated as “bad” or “wrong”. Happiness is generally seen as something positive to aspire to, while anger, jealousy, fear and many times sadness are treated as though they are feelings that healthy people should not have. They are treated as feelings that you should eliminate as quickly as possible and it is even suggested that people should try to prevent them occurring in the first place.
Well, that is baloney. Every emotion exists for a reason. Continue reading
On day 19 of my experiment with drawing every day and observing the effects on my motivation I again found myself without ideas for what to draw. Part of my commitment to this exercise from the outset had been that the important thing was to draw something each day, not to draw something “good” or “interesting” every day. So for day 19 I settled with drawing out a pattern in curving lines without too much thought, then adding a little colour:
This was done very quickly. I didn’t like the result at all, but I’d stuck with my commitment to draw and was happy enough with that.
On day 16 of my exercise in daily drawing I experienced a drop in my intrinsic motivation. After a few days of easily producing drawings I liked by tracing pictures, going back to drawing from my imagination meant struggling again with ideas for what to draw.
Having been involved in some planning for a pirate-themed birthday party, the idea of drawing a skull came to mind.
On day 12 I tried experimenting with tracing and hand-colouring, and decided to continue developing this technique on my drawings for days 13 and 14. Admittedly tracing felt a bit like cheating, but on the other hand my primary aim was to draw something each day and the result of my tracing and colouring on day 12 had sparked a lot more interest in continuing. I decided to develop my technique in colouring and shading a little this way, then to go back to drawing from scratch and try to apply these skills.