By 10pm every night, clients staying at Broadway Lodge reflect on their day and write down an important event, feeling or action (positive or negative) that happened on a ‘significant event form’ which is one of several methods we use to monitor a clients’ emotional, physical or mental state.
Completed forms are collated by the medical team who will check them immediately before they are passed to the counselling team at the following day’s morning meeting. Any form that raises concern is followed up a counsellor explore the contents with the individual. Often, the significant event forms offer a gateway for discussion discretely, without the individual having to raise an issue in person, which can sometimes be difficult especially if they find it challenging to open up, or feel that it’s not important or relevant to bring up.
We’re going to share the significant event thoughts of one anonymous client as they progress through treatment, to give you an insight into emotions at various stages of their therapeutic experience.
Significant Event thoughts on day 1 at Broadway Lodge
“The most significant event of today was: Welcome group. I listened with empathy to my group members no matter what the addiction. When it came to me I was all prepared to tell them factually my story and something strange happened!! I got a wave of emotion, I welled up. I began to cry! Me?! I wanted to walk out but I didn’t. I couldn’t make eye contact but I did it! I got it all out.
Why was it important to me? When the tears came in that moment I realised I wasn’t a psychopath, that I wasn’t immune to feelings. Which I have been for years. All I ever felt was anger and resentment and it brought me to my knees! Although I didn’t want to cry it was actually welcome and everyone supported me. It was hopefully the beginning of the end!”
What a moment this must’ve been, realising that you are not what you think you are and all the defensive walls constructed may have started coming down, brick by brick. The relief that this person may have experienced in that moment as the tears fell would be music to the ears of therapists. The strength this must have taken for this person to show their vulnerability in a group setting can only be admired. The reality is that this person always had feelings and emotions, even anger, however addiction only served to block the person from their true self bringing only pain, destruction and sadness. This actually is a beautiful start to treatment.