Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Thought Records Explained & Example

I've been trying to figure out why i cant post a comment on anyone else's blog, even tho i have a google account.  I even have it set to always stay signed in.  I can comment on Wyvern's peak blog and she can comment on mine.  So strange.  I'm guessing i'm doing/ not doing something simple that once i figure out will seem so simple i'll wonder how i missed it.

As for ocd. The wallet someone found at the canoe club or just outside it is safely sitting in my coat pocket.  I feel like i will contaminate my world if i touch it without washing afterwards.  i know i can solve the problem quickly by getting a cloth and some vinegar and wiping it clean.  But i don't want to do that.  So for now it is in limbo.  Unless i'm stopped by a police officer who probably doesn't want to hear about how i cant' touch my wallet to get my liscence out and if he will just reach into my coat pocket....  Yeah, like that will go over well.

So i will try something that worked last time i had a mouse/ocd problem.  Mice are the BIG issue for me.  I  can create a mouse story out of just about anything if the 'what-if's get going.  And then what used to be no problem becomes one.  I was listening on a website - i think on cult recognition- and the psychologist altho talking about cults mentioned something very interesting.  That he not only tries to get his patients to think of the issue to acclimatize their brain to it, but he also has them think about how great it will be to be able to DO what you cant do now.  For example i think of touching the wallet.  I get bad feelings.  Then i also think about how great it will be to go canoeing all summer ( i can't afford to buy the canoe and all the stuff that goes with it, so canoe club is my only option, or renting from someone else who could have the same issues anyway)  So i will think about canoeing on the lake and watching the wildlife- birds, fish etc. and the peacefulness of canoeing.  Last time it took me 2 weeks of thinking before i actually DID the thing (touch the mailbox).  the next time i did it for something else, i started the thinking process but then decided that since i was going to TOUCH the thing anyway at the end, i could avoid lots of suffering thru all my thots first and get it over with.  And i actually did it!  We will see how long it takes before i touch the wallet this time ( wallet and canoeing have the same issues.  i guess i could imagine taking my wallet out and shopping with it, but i'm thinking the canoe thots will be more positivly powerful for me.  Or maybe i'll do both.  Will report on it as soon as i touch the wallet!

Sometimes the thot record works for me.  Mouse issues are extremelly difficult, so even tho i have solved the problem intellectually, emotionally it's still there. hence part two.

Thot records:  A Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) tool looks like this:

From Mind over Mood by Dennis Greenberger & C. Padesky   c1995:

Write the situation down.
Describe your mood with percent intensity
What are your automatic thots?- what am i afraid of, what's the worst that can happen etc.
Evidence supporting the thot
Evidence against the thot
Alternative or balanced thots
How is my mood now:

So for me: situation: see above.  Mood: anxious, worried,  90%,
 auto thots:  there are mice in the building, i will contaminate all my stuff if i touch the canoes or use them,  i'm ok ocd -wise, why create a potential problem?  if i ask if they have a mouse problem they will lie and say no even if they do,  i will have a big mess to clean up if i'm right.
evidence for:  the building is unocuupied a lot, so mice might be able to get in., the canoes are stored in an outside area, so even bigger mice opportunities.,
evidence against:  the boats are stored upside down, any mice droppings will fall out, mice will eat the equipment so they'd have to solve the problem or all their equipment will be ruined (Counsellor helped me see this point),  at least the problem isnt RATS :) so ignore it,  
alternative balance thots:  not all mice carry disease, or germs.  country mice are probably healthy mice. 
Mood now:  30%

It is spelled out in more detail in the workbook: Mind Over Mood.


  1. OK - it's working! YAY! Welcome! I replied to your comment on my post. Thought records are awesome - I do them too. It really helps to actually write your thoughts down and get perspective.