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Borderline Personality Impulse Control with Schema Therapy
Borderline & Schema Therapy continuing education social worker CEUs

Section 9
Voice the Feelings Connected with a Schema
(Client Exercise)

CEU Question 9 | CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Borderline
Social Worker CEUs, Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, MFT CEUs


Write about the thoughts and feelings stirred up in you by reading about the schemas that seem most relevant to you. You don't have to put huge amounts of time into writing-just ten to twenty minutes at a stretch, Writing Borderline Personality social work continuing ed whenever a compelling thought or feeling comes up and you have a chance to jot it down in a private journal.

1. Don't censor your thoughts. Be completely open, saying things you might not tell anyone else. Remember, this journal is for your eyes only. The more honest you are with yourself, the better. This is your chance to say whatever you'd like to tell someone else, but feel inhibited about saying to them. Put it all in your journal.
2. Write whenever and wherever you have the inspiration and are free to do so. Don't feel you have to write every day, but keep the momentum going by writing when you feel moved. It may help to do your writing in a private place where you feel secure and undistracted.
3. Write about both the objective facts and your feelings about them. As your emotions well up, really let go, putting it all down on paper. Free-associate-just let it all pour out.
4. Don't worry about how it sounds or looks. No one is grading you; you don't have to be careful about spelling or grammar. if you hit a block, just write over again whatever you've just written.
5. Keep this journal for yourself. Don't write with someone else in mind whom you might want to show this to someday. If you do that, you'll start editing it with that person in mind, or you'll try to justify what you say.
6. Keep at writing over the course of several days, weeks, or even months, if you find it helpful. Your thoughts, feelings, and insights will change as you delve deeper into working with your schemas.
7. As you remember the events in your early life that seem to have shaped your schema, consider writing a letter-which you don't need to send-to the people or person in your life who was most involved. It might be a self-absorbed parent who made you feel emotionally deprived or a group of kids at school who made you feel left out. Vent your feelings about their behavior in the letter. Make it part of your journal. This can be an extremely effective way to give the frozen little child at the core of a schema a way to express feelings, disappointments, and needs.

There is another reason to keep a private journal if you are going to embark on this inner journey. If you start early on, it becomes a way of tracking your progress along this path if you note what triggers your most troublesome schemas, the thoughts, feelings, and actions that go with them, and how often they come up.

Writing in the journal will give you a place to pull together your insights on the sources and origins of your schema, the situations that trigger it, and to gradually piece together a fuller picture of your typical emotions, thoughts, and reactions.

The journal also gives you a way to reflect on your deeper feelings about the relevant issues in your life as well as on the early experiences that seem to have shaped the schema. And it gives you a chance to vent your feelings without having to confront people in your life.

Over several months of doing this work, your journal should help you track changes in the thoughts and feelings that come up, in how you react. If your work with schemas is having an effect, you will notice a gradual decrease in the number of times in a given week or month you have schema attacks, or a lessening of their intensity, or how long they last.
- Bennett-Goleman, Tara, Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart, Harmony Books: New York, 2001.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.

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Personal Reflection Exercise #2
The preceding section contained information about schema therapy. Write three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section in your practice.

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 9
What is the benefit of writing in the schema journal? Record the letter of the correct answer the CEU Answer Booklet.

 
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