My Mental Health Journey Through an Intensive Outpatient Program – Part 3

Day two of my IOP was this morning. Just like yesterday, I checked in at the desk and went up to the room. Today I was the first person to arrive. It felt like a lot longer than it was before the rest of the group started trickling in. There were two people who hadn’t been there the day before, but they weren’t new new. They just weren’t there the day before.

We started with check ins again. And it took a long time again, all of the first hour and a good chunk of the second. I talked a lot more today. I recapped the prior evening. (It wasn’t anything exciting. I had Panera for dinner with my kid, then I watched an episode of Deep Space Nine before going to bed.) I talked about my kid for a while. Things like that. None of it was deep or important, but somehow it felt good to share with the group.

During the break, I chit chatted with some of the other group members. They seem very nice and were very positive about how much the group has helped them.

Our topic of the day was safety planning. It was pretty straightforward. What are things or situations that make you feel unsafe? How do you avoid those things and situations? If there is something unavoidable, what do you do? We talked about various things that could be done. Someone said deep breathing. Another suggested mindfulness. And another said positive self-talk. I spoke up and said grounding.

Of all the tools I’ve learned about in therapy, grounding is my favorite. It’s basically just doing things that bring your focus to the here and now. It’s very similar to mindfulness. I mentioned in an earlier post that I carry a guitar pick around so I can run my finger along its edge when I’m not feeling good. That’s a grounding technique. It’s simple, but it gets my mind out of whatever is triggering and into something tactile.

That was it for the session. Now I get the weekend off and I’ll be back at it on Monday.

One thought on “My Mental Health Journey Through an Intensive Outpatient Program – Part 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.