Week 2 will tell us which participants are really committed to the group. We had one person drop out and another did not call or show up. However, we had two new people as well. One a previous group member and the other is the mother of one of the participants. So, in total we had 7 participants on this day (and two facilitators).
As we went around the room for check in, people talked about their challenges and how their week went. Most of the participants attempted to work on their challenge and if they didn’t they were certainly aware that it was there. One individual passed on the check in and it turned out that he had chosen something that was just too big. We helped him at the end of the session to pick something that is more realistic for him.
The homework from Week 1 was to pay attention to what you acquired over the week and notice what you brought home or if you resisted and did not bring anything home what was the level of anxiety you felt. The object of this exercise is not to avoid shopping or the temptation but to actually put yourself (or find yourself) in a situation where you need to exert some discretion and decision making around your choices. If individuals have challenges with acquiring this is usually an area that they can get a handle on very quickly. They become aware of their acquiring behaviours and are able to make the necessary changes. We can’t avoid shopping altogether. We talked about the challenges with grocery shopping, two for one sales (think potato chips, ugh!!), advertising that draw us in and makes us feel that there is a time limit so we need to act fast and other shiny things that we think we want or need. Participants often talk of loneliness and wanting to be at places like Talize or Value Village where there are friendly faces to chat with. There also can be this need to purchase something to make the salesperson happy and to help the economy. One gentleman in the group had never heard the term “retail therapy” and he said he was kind of confused as it sounded like a good thing. There is always such great discussion.
This session we really start to look at our own “Clutter Model”. We use information from the Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring workbook and therapist guides. This really helps individuals to see why they struggle with these issues and can help them to start to challenge some of these patterns and behaviours. We look at Vulnerability Factors, Problems Processing Information and Thinking Styles.
Check Out and everyone picked a new challenge to work on over the week and homework again is to pay attention to what is acquired. A card was included that could be cut out and attached to a debit or credit card. It includes questions to ask about the need for the item and also some blank spaces to write down some personal goals. See next blog post.
Oh yeah and how did I do on my challenge? Honestly, I really wanted to continue to procrastinate on it but I knew that I had to do it as I had put it out there. I got things off of my dresser that belonging in other places and was able to gather together some old jewellery to donate to the Micro Enterprise Program at my work place where they make new jewellery and other items to sell. It took me at least an hour and a half to clean off my dresser. I did it on the evening before the group and I found myself distracted a few times and was off doing other things. But I did it and here is a pic of my dresser cleaned off. Sorry, there is no before pic.
Now, for this weeks challenge which will again need to happen on Thursday evening, the night before the group. I am planning to take down a very dusty curio cabinet full of tiny perfumes. I think it will be easy to get this cupboard down but what to do with all the cute perfume bottles?
Stay tuned to hear about Week 3.
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