speaking of containment…

At the end of session today, TM asked if I had done anything around developing containment strategies for stuff that comes up in session. I described what I do after session to help balance again. She described that as more “discharge” rather than containment. I couldn’t think of anything that would qualify in the moment, but after I left I thought of the closet analogy. It’s not the best, or even very refined, but it’s my metaphorical containment strategy. Stuff is tossed in there haphazardly though, and it’s no longer as effective as it used to be. I need to work on cleaning up my mental closet as much as I need to work on cleaning up my actual closet. Both used to have neatly arranged containers that held things in check. Now both are bursting at the seams. Oops…

She tried some guided imagery grounding with me before we wrapped up. Unfortunately, the one she picked happened to be really triggering. I managed to ask her to switch it. A specific word made me involuntarily startle and shudder. The second one she put on was a bit better. I couldn’t tell her why it bothered me (would have taken too long), but will next session. I’m ok with guided imagery generally, but this one combined three triggers from what we had talked about/around in session. I wrote out some ideas for what works better so I can give it to her next week (nature sounds are good, beach and other nature imagery is good, but concentrating on my breathing or body are not so good).

Ultimately, I managed some containment before leaving her office by leaving my homework from last session with her. I also asked her to read one part of the homework that we had not covered in session. I originally hoped that she would read it after I was gone, but she did it while I was still there. It turned out ok though. She said we would go over it next session. I’m kinda glad I know she knows for sure now (not just wondering when/if she will read it). It helped me leave that there with her. My container right now is TM and her office. Pretty effective at the moment, and relatively safe.

I think I need to ask her to remind me to color during session. It helps me stay more grounded, and to speak easier…


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