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Aversion therapy/Coping Skills


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One thing my therapist is helping me explore is sensory aversion therapy. I did really well with not self injuring for 17 months. I was so proud. I slipped, and it wasn't HORRIBLE, but it was bad enough I needed medical attention. So, after that, I was having a harder and harder time each urge I got, to use my coping skills effectively. She (my therapist) said that she has seen some good results with using sensory aversion. Rubbing sand on the skin or a rough substance/object. She said to use ice in the palms of my hands as well and see how long I can take it before I have to take the ice off my skin.

Have any of you used this therapy technique before? Also, have any of you had success with coping skills, then suddenly have them stop working? Did you try to re-learn them or learn whole new different ones?

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Hi,

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "sensory aversion therapy" - is the idea that causing yourself discomfort while thinking about harming yourself will help stop you from doing it?

I've definitely heard of people using things like ice to provide a strong sensation to either distract themselves or to serve as a less harmful substitute for other methods. I've used it myself, and sometimes it does help.

I'm not sure what kind of coping skills you generally use, but there is a list of possibilities here that sorts the coping skills based on the type of emotion that's making you want to self harm. I wonder if maybe trying some different types of coping skills might be helpful for you, if the ones you currently have center around one particular reason for cutting. Just a thought.

Tryp

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At this point, I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of two months free. I have many different methods of distracting and motivating myself when I want to SI. I keep things on hand to give myself something to do. My phone, for instance. I'm here on CB because I'm down and lonely today. Normally I would be tempted to SI at a moment like this, all alone and not feeling very good. But my phone lets me log in here, so I'm knocking around looking for company. Other times I play with my cat, or make jewelry, or read, or write, or one of a selection of other things. I keep so many alternatives near because I'm concerned eventually the charm of just a few would wear off. I'd say maybe a fresh start might help you.

But, at the same time, know that a relapse doesn't undo the seventeen months of serious work you did. You deserve to still be proud of that. Setbacks are a part of the process. The fact that you've started right back trying to quit again is worth much, much more than a slip. You can do it. :)

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