Impulse Control Log

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The impulse control log is taken from S.A.F.E and is geared specifically for self-injury but can be used for many types of compulsions.
With the impulse control log it is required that you log down every thought or feeling associated with a particular urge to self injure, whether or not you actually go through with the act or not. In the beginning the goal is that the writing will become a diversion from the act itself. The long-term goal is to understand the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Self-injury itself is a thought, not a feeling. Once you can fully grasp and understand that internally, you can begin to understand that self-injury is a behavior and behaviors can be changed.

Self-injury keeps us from dealing with uncomfortable feelings. Feelings or thoughts we find unacceptable are disguised through self-harming in some way although only a temporary relief is felt. If you feel the need to self-harm there is a feeling behind that, something you need to express.

Using the impulse control log is a good way to make you slow down, think before you act and remind you that you are in control.

Below is a generic example


1.SELF-INJURY THOUGHTS: Burning, Cutting

2.TIME AND DATE: 3/9/07


4.SITUATION: A Friend and I aren't speaking, my boyfriend and I got into a fight, a relative is sick, and I lost my wallet.

5.FEELING: Angry, Upset, Lonely, Frustrated, Alone, And Disappointed

6.WHAT WOULD BE THE RESULT OF SELF-INJURY? If I cut/burn, Then I don’t have to get angry, then I don’t have to cry, then I don’t have to care,
then it won’t matter what they say or do, I can act and appear like I don't care.

That I do have feelings, that I think no ones cares, that I think I don't matter, that it hurts less if I cut/burn myself, that I'm scared.

8.ACTION TAKEN: Ended up running, doing some artwork, and writing in my journal.

9.COMMENTS: My desire to cut or act out is still w/me but I’m challenging the thoughts. Tonight I plan on going to the gym and then to a friends house.


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