Maybe it’s the change in seasons or maybe Michael needs an adjustment in his medication, but for whatever reason, Michael is experiencing another cycle of destructive and aggressive “episodes”. That means his family has to endure his cycle, too. This time around though, we can help him type to talk about his anger in ways he couldn’t express before. Our intention during our conversations has been to help him develop a greater awareness of his beliefs, feelings, and behaviors and to support him to come up with ways that he can handle difficult situations using his more productive thoughts and strategies.
One of his major stressors happens when his mom can’t get a DVD to play. He’ll hit the wall, throw his computer monitor or computer, and as a last resort, he’ll hit his mom.
S. So do you understand that sometimes mom and grandmom do not have the ability to give you what you want? They can’t always fix a DVD to make it play.
S. What can we do to help you to understand that before you get out of control?
M: I think they get want that I need I that will get calm
S. I see that you think you need the DVD to be fixed in order to calm. You are going to need a backup plan. Do you know what I mean?
M: I think so
S. A back up plan is when you can't get what you really really really want so you agree to get something else in its place.
M: Right then I will have a back up plan
S. When mom can't get a DVD to work what is your back up plan?
S. Let me see if I can help you understand.
S. If the DVD won't work what will you do?
M: Then I ask mom to fix it you I play the DVD
S. If mom can't fix the DVD what will you do?
M: I think I will much angry
S. Ok that is true. Remember, though, you can be angry but you need to keep your hands to yourself and off the monitor and computer and TV.
M: That I easy if the DVD get fix get easy calm
S. I understand that you swear you need the DVD to be fixed in order to be calm but if you always depend on the DVD to be fixed and it can't be fixed you will be stuck feeling angry and lousy. Would you like to be calm even if the DVD can't be fixed?
I believe Michael may have made somewhat of a breakthrough. I believe it has never occurred to him that he didn’t absolutely have to have the DVD fixed in order to get calm.
S. What if mom reminded you that you want to be calm even if the DVD can't be fixed?
M: I think that sounds all right good have that feeling even when the DVD can’t be fixed
S. So if the DVD can’t be fixed and since you want to get calm you need to let mom and grand mom remind you to do something else to stay calm. That is a back up plan.
Examples of back up plan choices are go on YouTube, watch TV, play x box, play a different DVD, eat a pretzel, drink some milk, rest for a while in your recliner. These are choices of a back up plan. Doing one of these choices will help you get the calm feeling if things don't go exactly the way you want. The lights might go off or the DVD might not get fixed... but you can stay calm. What do you think?
M: I think that sounds have to really really really get back up plan you understand I you really really really trying to help me