I haven't posted anything about the CBT study in a while, so I think people could benefit hearing what we did this week.
What a great topic, since I'm in the middle of a relapse.. Relapse prevention!
We started by defining a relapse. Not that it matters, but a relapse is when you lose control of your behaviors. A slip is when you engage in behaviors but are still in control and are able to pull yourself out of them.
In my experience, slips, lead to relapses, and if you can think about a slip a certain way, it could help prevent it from becoming a full-blown relapse.
My therapist suggested three ways to respond to a slip.
1. Have a rational response ready
This means writing down ways to think yourself out of a relapse before you have the slip, so that by the time you do end up slipping you have a plan that you can go to instead of thinking on your feet. I'm definitely going to do this, so watch for a post about rational responses!
2. Use fastest and optimal responses.
An optimal response is when you do the best thing you can do to prevent a total relapse. For example, if I have just binged, an optimal response would be to get people to play games with me to prevent me from purging. Obviously, optimal responses are not always feasible, so you should also have a fastest response available- something you can do that will help.
Take the same situation. I've just binged at dinner and there's no one around to stop me from purging. My fastest response might be to play an instrument. It's not as good as being around people, but it will sufficiently distract me until I can be around people.
3. Have a slip plan
This is kind of like the rational responses thing, except with this you write out EVERYTHING.
Every high risk situation you might find yourself in, write it down. Then write what behaviors that situation might evoke. Write rational responses to failures you'll have. Write out optimal responses in each situation. Carry it around with you or put it on the mirror so you'll be reminded of it every single morning.
I thought this was extremely useful, but I have yet to test it out.
If you like this idea and write out any of these, please share! :)