I had an actual fun therapy session today.
We’ve been focusing a lot of the Punitive Parent and the Detached Protector, luckily for me because they are my main two problems. I have written about them before but both of Schema Therapy modes: the PP is basically the negative voice in your head. DP is switching off from emotions, often to escape the PP!
Last week in my individual therapy I had to write some of the things down that my PP says in my head. I started simply with “I’m a bad person”. Then I had to write good things about myself so I could fight the negative voice. I found I couldn’t write down the nice things and burst into tears.
With that in mind, today my therapist had a plan of action. The room my session are held in are full of a range of cuddly toys. One is a large Garfield, about the size of a child. We pretended that he was my PP and together threw pens, boxes of tissues and cushions at it, shouting at it to leave me alone. Finally I ended up hitting the poor toy with the cushion and shouting why I deserved more positive thoughts.
OK, it felt a bit silly, it felt a bit false (did I believe what I was saying? Maybe not yet) but it also felt good and a whole lot of fun. I just felt guilty for poor Garfield (although look at him, he is a bit smug, right?) – but I think we proved a point. To get better, I need to be prepared to fight. Because if I don’t, I’m wasting the opportunity this therapy is giving me. If I don’t try and think nice things about myself then I’ll never shake the negative thoughts which tell me my friends don’t like me, my work isn’t good enough and I don’t deserve to be happy.
I think I need to work on my kickboxing skills…