Sunday, August 9, 2015

Progress Part 2

To relieve some of the stigma of hospitalization for mental health, I want to walk you through a typical day of therapy for me.

Check-in: We rate our moods (on a scale of 1 to 10); report how many meals we ate in the last 24 hours; report if we've taken our meds; report if we have any suicidal, homicidal, substance, or self-injury ideation; set a treatment goal for the day. We also talk about what happened to us yesterday evening and this morning.

Group1: Usually a continuation of the previous day's topic. We read literature on subjects on everything mental health: self-esteem, perfectionism, anger, health anxiety, improving perception...No one is forced to share their stories, but everyone is welcome to, and many do.
Part of an assignment during group.

Group2: Generally a different topic from Group1, but still focussed on mental health. Those people who are in the substance abuse track generally leave to attend a group specifically for substance abuse.
We had to draw what life felt like to us today, and envision what we want it to be tomorrow.
Two versions of the same scene.

Lunch: Provided and generally icky.

Group3: Usually some form of meditation or recovery session. We've done journaling, dance, yoga, zen meditation, improving perceptions, karaoke. Depending on who you are, you're sometimes allowed to leave to go to a concert or a program in another building. I am not one of those people.
Writing about myself in the third person is extraordinarily powerful.
(excuse the spelling)

Check-out: We go back to our original groups, and repeat the check-in process. This time, we have to explain how we've met our treatment goal, what we're going to do in the afternoon, name a coping skill we used or learned, and say one positive thing about ourselves.

Throughout the day, we can come and go as we please. Some group sessions might be too intense for some people, others may need to leave to see their psychiatrist or therapist. Although, if you miss too many group sessions or break any rules, you can be discharged from the program.

And where am I in all this? My stay has been extended for an additional week, to be reevaluated later. At that point, they'll determine if I need another week, if I should move on the half-days, or if I should be discharged altogether.