Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December!
So welcome to December 5th…
Today is all about my collaboration with one very special brand on Etsy, in this post I’ll be reviewing the products they sent to me and on December 23rd you can enter a competition to win these products and the remaining eight that I’ll be reviewing every other day this month!
The second product are these very handy Schema Therapy Flashcards by the incredible Bear In Mind Psychology, who are based in Watford, England.
I first heard about Schema Therapy in 2011 when I began seeing a Psychologist through my Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) and it ended up being my most well period in the three years before I was admitted to the long-term, specialist, psychiatric hospital.
For those who don’t know, to put it simply, Schema Therapy is all about identifying the different sides to you, understanding what they mean, realizing how they differ, and figuring out why they’re there. So, the Psychologist and I found that I have about three main Schemas; one that it angry, one that is sad, and one that is happy.
My angry Schema stemmed from the anger I held around the abuse I went through when I was younger and how I’d been furious that no one had realized it was happening and stopped it (I talk more in depth about that anger here). I learnt that when this Schema is at the forefront or is ‘in control’, I tend to be rude, aggressive, and uncooperative and I exhibit these feelings through different behaviours. They can range from shouting at someone for the smallest of indiscretions, to cancelling appointments with professionals and refusing to engage in therapy. The most important thing I learnt about this Schema, though, was that it’s there as a protective mechanism; I’d experienced the heartache of having the people I loved the most miss the signs that I was being abused so now my head was trying to protect myself from having such close relationships where the person has the potential to upset you on such a level.
My sad Schema has come as part of the ‘typical’ aftermath of abuse (which I talk more about here). Of course, having something so traumatic happen to you will impact your general mood in one way or another and I guess it’s easy to assume that the impact will be negative. Being so out of control as I was through the abuse and having these horrific things happen TO you, will understandably leave you feeling sad and – sometimes – even suicidal. The memories of that powerless, uncontrollable experience will never leave me and yes, at a few points, they did leave me feeling that I’d rather be dead than live with the memories. When that sad part is in control, it’s exhibited by me isolating myself, self-harming, or attempting suicide so it’s definitely the least helpful Schema. I mean, I struggle to find any positives that can come from it…
My third Schema is happy Aimee! When I’m happy or – as I prefer to say – myself, I can be so productive in getting so much ticked off the ‘to-do list,’ I’m passionate about life, I have energy, I’m interested in things, I keep my commitments, and I enjoy spending time with people. Usually the influence on my happiness will be plans that I have like events where I’ll have lots of responsibilities or exciting meetings with important people, or my medication; for my mood, I take a mood stabilizer and two anti-depressants so they also contribute to me being positive. When I am happy, I can’t believe that I ever hurt myself or that I’ve ever wanted to be dead; I can’t get my head around the fact that was my life, what I did, and my way of thinking. But, having experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings, I think that I’m more appreciative and grateful for any happiness or remotely positive, healthy, and safe feelings. When I’m happy I make the most of it and do as many things as possible to be productive with it. Over time, though, I’ve had to learn to still be cautious in not taking on too much to ensure that I don’t then ‘crash’ afterwards.
There are so many more elements to Schema Therapy though and the eighteen Schemas in this Etsy pack are:
2) Emotional Inhibition
3) Unrelenting Standards/Hyper criticalness
6) Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self
8) Vulnerability to Harm/Illness
12) Social Isolation/Alienation
16) Emotional Deprivation
17) Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline
The description of the product was really helpful in giving me an insight into what it contains and how it might be beneficial for others. When I learnt Scheme Therapy, myself and my Psychologist put together a document listing my Schemas and everything I’d learned about them so that if I was struggling to put my thoughts and feelings and behaviours into words with others then I could just point to the Schema I was experiencing. Perhaps this is something you could do with the cards…?
‘As a Clinical Psychologist I am always looking for new and creative ways to help others understand psychological and therapeutic ideas. When I first started delivering Schema Therapy I found it very difficult to keep all the different schemas in mind, and so I began to doodle little images to remind me of what they were. These have now evolved into Schema Flashcards which I use in sessions with my clients for psychoeducation, and to help them make sense of what is being activated for them both in and between sessions. These cards work very well with the companion Schema Mode Cards which can be found here, though they can also be used alone.’
I also wanted to say, about this product, that it comes beautifully packaged which – I think – makes it that bit more special; especially where you’re buying it as a gift for someone!
You can buy this particular product for £12.00 here:
Keep reading Blogmas to find out all of the products you could win by entering the competition launched on December 23rd!