For the last two weeks, as well as my normal therapy sessions, I have been doing some assessments to see how things have changed (or not) for me after six months of schema therapy.
It’s been interesting – both heartening and disheartening at the same time. There were some cognitive tests (drawing from memory, lists of colours, etc.), which I think I fund more difficult but there were also a repeat of hundreds of questions and ratings that we did before we started on this course. They were about everything from mood, to drinking, to throwing things in anger, self-harm, how you think people treat you and regard you, how much money you lose through your difficulties, any delusions you’ve had, how good a person you think you are…it went on and on.
What stood out most to me was that I know I now indulge (if that is the right word) in less self-harming behaviour and I am more aware of where my problems lie and can regard them a bit more calmly, however rubbish I might feel. I recognise when I’m detaching, when I’m letting my critic rule me, what healthy adult decisions are, even if I can’t quite make them.
It’s become apparent that I am beginning to feel anger (though more in the form of irritation at the moment – and I have to say, often the group sessions irritate the hell out of me for not always going at the pace I want them to – but then I berate myself for being selfish) and that maybe, just maybe, I am starting to be able to assert myself. I’m also beginning to cry more within therapy sessions. I’ve once teared up in group, and yesterday, when my individual therapist told me I could call her for a chat if I felt bad about myself, I cried at her kindness. I mean, I never would ring and ask for help…not yet, but how sweet of her to offer.
I feel inwardly that lately I’ve been struggling to hold it together, but when I look back to before the therapy started, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together at all so there is definitely progress. I just need to keep chipping away at my critic who makes me scared and insecure (but also afriad to show that side of me – my vulnerable child wants out!) so I can really start to grab life with both hands.