This is the front and back of the diary cards I use with my DBT therapist. The front goes over urges I have for things I’m struggling with, things like cutting, binging and purging, and not eating, as well as emotions that I have, both positive and negative, and finally which urges I actually act on. The last column deals with whether I thought of using any skills, tried to use them, and whether they were effective.
On the backside, it lists ALL the DBT skills and I just mark off which skills I used that day. So far I know the skills in the first section labeled “Core Mindfulness”. The next module we’re going into I think is Distress Tolerance, so I’ll be learning those next. That’s a 6 week module.
I am supposed to fill it out each day, so I set an alarm on my phone to remember, because otherwise I don’t.
Weekly Diary Card
This is what we went over today, after going over all the group rules and standard do’s and don’ts of being in a psychiatric setting such as keeping information about the other patients private, and not having sexual relationships with one another.
The first picture is the weekly diary card we use for our group. We have to go through each day and mark with skills we used that day. We also have to mark how many times we used the card. Ideally, they want you using the card each day, but you can technically use it once a week. Then we went through what mindfulness and the Wise Mind are. On Mindfulness Handout 3, you can see a diagram of the Emotion Mind Trap. That’s basically when it’s raining (you’re full of emotion) and there’s a trap door in the well that leads to the Wise Mind and the emotion gathers on top of the trap door and you mistake the rain water for the well water, confusing your emotion for your Wise Mind.
Mindfulness Handout 3A has different ways to practice mindfulness that helps bring you to your Wise Mind. The homework (Mindfulness Worksheets 1 & 3) asks you to make a pro/con for practicing mindfulness and not practicing mindfulness, and to pick some of the different ways to practice mindfulness and to practice them.
One of the simplest mindfulness exercises I know is the one where you breathe in and focus on “Wise” and breathe out and focus on “Mind,” so I did that one for a few minutes earlier.
I find mindfulness very helpful, yet I almost never remember to do it. Especially when I need it most. I’m hoping having a couple weeks focusing on mindfulness will help me get better at it.