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Thursday, 6 July 2017

DBT Chain Analysis: Understand triggers

TW This post discusses self-harm and may be triggering for some people with eating disorders. 

I'm not in formal DBT, but I am trying to learn some aspects of it from books and online. I recently did a review of Amanda L. Smith's DBT Wellness Planner I am using. I also have a series of DBT posts.

In therapy lately, I have been discussing things which have given me strong urges to self-harm. I have managed to deal with the urge without self-harming, but the urge was so strong, it was a very painful feeling.

I decided to do a chain analysis to try to understand the triggers, the urge and the potential for alternative responses. Here it is:

My DBT chain analysis.

I decided to do another one for the last situation where I self-harmed. I hadn't self-harmed in ages, but then someone treated me very unkindly. I ended up becoming extremely distressed at the same time as having to be in a social situation where I couldn't show how distressed I was. 

DBT chain analysis by me. 

So I ended up self-harming as that was the only way I could manage the situation in that moment. It was far from ideal. I even called Samaritans for a few minutes to try to release my emotions without self-harming, but I didn't have much time to talk and so I still ended up being unable to cope without resorting to self-harm

It is very upsetting to feel like that was my only option. It was quite an isolated incident of self-harm, as I haven't been self-harming on a regular basis for a long time now. It's important that I notice what happened so I can see other possible ways of responding to a trigger. 

Drawing by me.

Do you do chain analyses? Are they useful to you? I would love you to tweet me about it @bpd_orchid!

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I would love to hear your comments, but please respect everyone's opinions and experience. Thank you, bpd orchid.