DBT group and individual therapy today

Hi everyone,

Today was a productive day. The DBT group I felt was very good. The leader is a case manager with a master’s degree in counseling and special training in DBT. She is now also the assistant to Jonathan which I think he picked a good person.

Anyway the others in the group seemed extremely insightful and supportive and able to get a lot out of the group. Not like other group experiences I’ve here where you have ten people who are totally off track not really grasping what the group is about, and with a leader through no fault of their own not really knowing how to run a group. Something I’m very happy about is with the change in license Jonathan says that there will be more higher quality groups and trained staff.

We went over the basic DBT skills: interpersonal effectiveness (how to get what you want in relationships resolve conflict), mindfulness (being in the present moment), emotion regulation (understanding your emotions better), distress tolerance (how to get through a crisis.)

When we all talked about these skills and gave examples the more I realized that we all have a lot in common. Our mental illnesses, whatever they may be leave us very overwhelmed by huge floods of emotions so we can’t even think clearly and don’t know how to deal with it. I have to fill out what my personal goals are and will post in another post to share.

That’s our homework for next week to fill out goals. It was uplifting to be able to support the other residents, and know this will be an actual good quality group to be in and get something out of.

It was also awesome to finally!! Meet with Jonathan this afternoon. He again said how much he loved our sessions. How nice it was to actually do a therapy session rather than going to constant meetings and stuff. That he just plain didn’t have the time. We both agreed things seem calmer with the assistant position in place and a new case worker to fill the old slot. So anyway the main topic of our session was me visiting my family. Recently my parents have been like yeah we’re working on it. But the visit has been pushed aside and there’s no timetable as there kind of was before. A month ago they were saying how they might want me to visit after they sell the house. They’re basically all over the place with one reason or another why they can’t do it. This is very frustrating. I’m not super close to my grandparents but would like to see them before they pass away. Two are 93 and very close to the end of their lives especially one on my mom’s side. I most importantly want to see my pets! I have huge anxiety and have since moving to Albany and not knowing if I’d ever be strong enough to see my family again, about the pets dying. Our oldest cat is well old but still pretty healthy. But my cat especially I miss him all day everyday and wish we could e-mail! I do talk to him on the phone and my mom says he knows it’s me. Not having seen them since 2012 is so hard.

Jonathan plans to call my dad, who he’s had good conversations with before and who is quite honest and straightforward. He’ll tell Jonathan, or Jonathan will be able to figure out what the issue really is. Jonathan and I both feel like we can’t keep putting it off. There will never be a “right time” something stressful could always come up. Waiting until things “settle down” even with regards to illness issues with my Nanna, is not practical or healthy. Because things change so quickly. We just need to do this. I’m glad he’ll take action on it.

I also talked about wanting to do music therapy to work on feeling ready to sing again. He said he’d contact institute for therapy through the arts.

So yeah we had a really good meeting.

It’s been a long day but a lot got done.

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