One of the things we did at Sheppard Pratt’s Trauma Disorders Program, was every evening after dinner, we convened in our small group to go over our progress on our goals for the day.
In 2007/2008, everyone led off their share, by saying “Our goals for today were A, B, and C. Today….(explain what we accomplished towards these goals). My safety is….(explain any issues with safety), and my plans for this evening are….(explain what we are going to do to wind down, make sure parts are in their safe places, use coping skills, etc.).
During our last stay in 2018, it wasn’t as structured, but still had the same goal. We reviewed what progress we made on our goals and chatted about what we were doing that evening.
It’s still a helpful technique, to wrap our mind around the day’s events. There have been days I’ve been surprised to find out I had gaps of time loss, and a little internal communication helped improve awareness. It also helps parts feel heard and not ignored or avoided.
Here’s our basic outline for our night check-in. I hope it helps give yous some ideas that are helpful!
- Read off goals for today and progress/outcomes of working on these goals.
- Celebrate successes! Even small wins can be huge for some parts.
- What number am I on the Crisis Continuum right now?
- Did we experience any triggers today?
- Is anyone having intense emotions right now? (If so, are there self-soothing skills, grounding skills, imagery, or other things that might help you contain?
- Do I need to ask anyone (external) for help right now? If not, try to engage with an outside person before bed in a positive way (e.g. give 1 complement to them).
Then when we get into bed and get ready for sleep, we’re usually in a safer space. We pay attention to our body to help parts relax any muscles they have tensed (facial, neck, or lap muscles) and do deep breathing to fall asleep well.
Tomorrow is therapy day! So, here’s to a good night’s sleep!