Sexual Abuse Survivor's Tools In Recovery
On this page you will find:
1. Ideas to Facilitate Grounding 2. Relapse Prevetion Tips 3. Relapse Prevention Plan 4. Helpful 12-Step-Type Slogans 4a. Defintion of Some Terms In the Steps 5. Plan to Aid in Balancing Your Lifestyle 6. Target Daily Behaviors Worksheet 7. Brief Message From Soul
Ideas To Facilitate Grounding
1. utilize safe place 2. visualize setting aside overwhelming memory/emotion 3. change sensory component/input - sightfor example,take a walk, read a book touch for example, ice, cuddle a teddy bear sound for example, tv, radio, talk to peer - taste for example, eat something smellfor example, perfume 4. internally concentrate/become absorbed in an activity 5. express something verbally - yell if necessary 6. write in journal 7. do anger work 8. breathing exercises 9. relaxation exercises 10. self hypnosis 11. call on internal support 12. visualize a "stop" sign 13. use positive affirmations 14. connect with the here and now 15. talk in the mirror 16. transfer emotion/memory into mirror 17. monitor self talk - change negative to positive 18. identify cognitive distortions and replace with counter statements 19. dance 20. repeat grounding phrase - " i am here right now" 21. give self permission to address one thing at a time - "rome wasn't built in a day" 22. identify (in writing) all problems. then put into 2 groups (1) those you have control over (2) those you cannot control. concentrate on only those that can be controlled. 23. decide what is important and what is not 24. keep it simple - KIS 25. use transitional (safe) object 26. pray - serenity prayer 27. exercise 28. draw 29. find a safe person 30. listen to a tape of your therapist 31. listen to a tape of self affirmations 32. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGER
Relapse prevention is a therapeutic approach designed to maintain treatment gains by reducing risk in the antural envirnment and strengthening cognitive behavior skills in the decision-making process. Everyone will experience inappropiate and unwanted thoughts, fantasies, and urges. Many survivors are troubled so umch by the lack of a final cure that perfectionistic and absolutistic thinking actually leads them to relapse. Assuming trauma is the first step in a class of behavior that leads to relapse.
Most relapses occur because of the recovering person forgets or chooses not to use effective coping strategies. Negative emotional state (ie.anger, anxiety, or depression) sets the stage of lapse and distorted thinking. Interpersonal conflict with a spouse, family member, friend, or employer is another factor contributing to relapse. Social pressure, also produces relapse. Negative emotinal state, interpersonal conflict, and social pressure are triggers for relapse in high risk situations.
We believe that each recovering person must set his or her own limits. It will be important to talk with recovery group members, your therapist, and your spouse about the decisions you are making with respect to boundaries and reducing risk.
Another predictable phenomenon in relapse is the desire to test one's limits and control. The original meaning of tempton included "trial" or "test". Therefore, to put oneself to the test is to invite temption and lapse. There are many tests as there are survivors. Keep in mind that any time you feel the need to prove your self-control, you are slipping away from recovery. Recall that recovery means a willingness to let go of illusions of control are let God (as we understand Him) restore sanity in one's life.
RELAPSE PREVENTION PLAN
1. LIST EMOTIONAL AND INTERPERSONAL TRIGGERS. 2. IDENTIFY HIGH RISK SITUATIONS FOR YOU. 3. SPECIFY NON-REVICTCOPING RESOURCES YOU WILL USE. 4. DESCRIBE SOME APPARENTLY UNHEALTHY DECISIONS MADE IN THE PAST. 5. IDENTIFY SOME LAPSES YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED IN THE PAST. 6. WRITE NAMES & PHONE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TO DISCUSS PROBLEMS WITH. 7. RECORD PLANS FOR MODIFYING YOU WORK LIFE FOR BETTER BALANCE. 8. RECORD PLANS FOR MODIFYING YOUR LEISURE LIFE FOR BETTER BALANCE. 9. RECORD PLANS FOR MODIFYING YOUR SOCIAL LIFE FOR BETTER BALANCE. 10. LIST TENTATIVE PLAN OF AFTERCARE FOR FIRST 90 DAYS, 11. KEEP BOUNDARIES.12. STATE YOUR PRESENT RELATIONSHIP BOUNDARIES.
12 Step-Type Slogans
The slogans of Twelve Step meetings provide conventional wisdom and short-hand reminders of what is important in recovery. It is important to be mindful of the principles of recovery when reviewing choices and challenges in daily life. the following slogan may prove helpful in relapse prevention.
1. One day at a time. It is possible to maintain ability to cope in the here and now. One is respnsible for recovery only today, or even for just one hour at a time. Preoccupation with the past or future eleicits negative thought patterns.
2. Easy does it. Recovery is a slow, lifelong process. This remind the survivor to be tolerant and respectful of the natural courses of change.
3. Be gentle with yourself. Non-revictimizing coping requires relaxation, rest, fun, and balance in the overall lifestyle.
4. H.A.L.T. These four conditions frequently signal risk for relapse: Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness.
5. First things first. Survivors will try to do everything at once. It is important to make recovery the first priority in every decision.
6. Act as if. It is useful to counteract doubt by "acting as if" the program will work for you. With experience comes faith because you will see that you are actually recovering.
7. If it works, don't fix it. This addresses 2 problems in relapse: grandiosity and perfectionism. It is the survivor, not the program that needs to change.
8. Let go and let God. This reminds the survivor to stop fighting and surrender concerns to the Higher Power.
9. This too shall pass. Believing that negative emotional situations will change insures that life it tolerable.
10.To thine own self be true. The setting of boundaries should reflect personal rather than societal needs.
11.Live and let live. The survivor focuses on working one's own program and respects the rights of others to find their own way.
12.Keep it simple. Survivors thrive on crisis and complex, unsolveable problems.
13.There but for the grace of God go I. Survivors are troubled by the desires to compare and control. This addresses the need for humility and recognition in the survivor process.
Some of these terms require definiton
1. Self-Efficacy. Recovery is based on hope or expectation of success and personal empowerment. Self-efficacy refers to the anticipation that one's efforts in working the recovery program will promote health and other positive benefits. 2. Lapse. A return to old behavior patterns that are destructive and revictimizing. Examples: abusive relationships, self harm, etc. Corrective action must be taken quickly to prevent further relapse. 3. Adaptive Coping responses. The major techniques are relaxation, and assertion. Communication, rather than isolation, is the backbone of coping.
Here is a plan for attaining balance in the lifestyle
1. Three good meals a day. 2. Plans to include:
a. 3 - 4 hours of work, study, hobby, practice or chore.
b. One half to one hour of total silliness.
c. One half to one hour of gentle, frank, peaceful, confidential, non-problem solving talk.
d. 15 minutes each of gentle exercise and deep total relaxation.
3. Nice bedtime snack - sleep. 4. Absolute minimum of chemicals. 5. Absolute minimum of scapegoating and being scapegoat.
By following the natural rhythms of a balanced lifestyle the abused child is nurtured toward wholeness and health.
Target Behaviors Daily Worksheet
1. Suicidal Behaviors/Self harm
This week's goals:_________________________________________
Efforts made towards goal:_________________________________
Reinforces made towards efforts:______________________________
2. Therapy Interfering Behaviors
This week's goals:____________________________________________
Efforts made towards goal:__________________________________
Reinforcers of today's efforts:_____________________________
3. Quality-of-life Interfering Behaviors
Efforts made towards goal:____________________________________
Reinforcer of today's efforts:________________________________
As survivors of sexual abuse whether or not one has since been diagnosed with and is coping with a dissociative disorder there is much that survivors have in common in so far as the long-lasting effects of this type of abuse. It is really important to gather as much information as you can, to read, to seek out therapy and to above all learn to be kind to yourself and then once you learn that to practice it. We as the survivors of horrendously grievous abuse perpetrated against us, against our will, we, having resultingly been robbed of so much that we must work hard in recovery to re-claim, we deserve to heal, deserve to be happy and most of of all we need to daily affirm that we are most definately NOT at fault. Know that you are worthy and may you find peace upon your journey.
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