Relapse Prevention Plan / Reassurance Plan – Mood complaints

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Before completing the treatment, we will discuss identifying and preventing similar complaints in the future. Experiencing complaints again is normal, so see this as a reassurance plan. Fortunately, experiencing complaints again does not mean that you are back to square one, it can actually help you to see that something is going on and inform you on how to intervene before you relapse.

To ensure that your complaints do not worsen, it is important to be able to identify when you are feeling low or when you begin to revert back to old patterns early on, so that you can intervene in time. This document can help you with this and help you create a relapse prevention plan or reassurance plan.

It consists of three steps: identifying, repeating and seeking support. It is advised to regularly read this form after completing your treatment and keep it nearby.

Step 1) Signals and risk situations

It is important that you can identify or recognize when you are feeling low. Some people notice this in their bodies, others notice this in their behaviour.

What signals are you aware of that indicate that you aren’t feeling well?

We can subdivide these signals into:

  • physical signals: e.g., back pain, headache, lethargy
  • psychological signals: e.g., worrying, concentration problems, negative thoughts
  • behavioural signals: e.g., sleeping badly, withdrawing, no longer exercising, drinking more alcohol, working too hard, getting angry faster

Fill in the list below. Think back to the period leading up to the complaints. Describe the signals as concretely as possible. Examples of this are: “Lying awake in bed for more than an hour a day for a week” or “Coming home from work exhausted for two weeks’’.

Physical signals:

 

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Psychological signals:

 

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Behavioural signals:

 

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Risk situations

In addition to recognizing signals, it is also important to recognize circumstances that can increase the risk of a relapse, so-called ‘risk situations’.

Examples are busy weeks at work, arguing with family, conflicts at work, moving to a new house, having to work night shifts, ending a relationship, disappointment, etc. Based on the presence of risk situations, you can decide if extra interventions to prevent relapse are needed. Describe the risk situations that are relevant to you.

 

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Step 2) Practising what you have learned

People learn through practice, such as learning how to ride a bicycle or learning how to skate, which probably started as trial and error, but eventually got better and better! It is therefore very useful to repeat the most useful elements of the treatment by writing them down below. We use the terms ‘pitfalls’ and ‘tools’.

Pitfalls

Pitfalls are thoughts that are or behaviour that is not helpful, but that you tend to rely upon when you are feeling unwell. These are, for example, thoughts such as “I am not important” or behaviour such as withdrawing instead of seeking support.

Enter below what you tend to think when you are not doing well and how you are inclined to behave when you are not doing well.

Pitfalls – Thoughts or Beliefs

 

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Pitfalls – Behaviour

 

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Tools

Tools are ways, methods or techniques that you can use to deal with difficult situations or thoughts. Think of everything you have learned during your treatment, but also of things that you have discovered and experienced as helpful during this recent period. Write them down below.

Some examples are comforting yourself, talking to others, challenging thoughts with a thought record, anti-anxiety exercises, relaxation techniques, rest, exercise, etc.

Tools – That help me when I’m having a hard time

 

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Step 3) Get support or help

During the treatment process, you may be able to recognize the individuals who can help you when you are feeling down. Write down below who these people are and what they can do for you. For example: someone with whom you can talk, someone with whom you can laugh, someone who can motivate you, someone who does not judge you, etc.

Who                           What can this person do for me?

 

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NiceDay app

It is very helpful to remain active within the NiceDay app to monitor your feelings and thoughts. You can then quickly become aware of when you are feeling unwell and act on it faster! You can also engage with a coach independently and easily via NiceDay if you need a little more guidance, but do not yet want to go to the doctor’s for a referral.

Rounding off

Do you have any extra motivational or helpful words for yourself? Think of a saying, a quote that gives you courage or that you find inspiring, or a short letter to yourself.

Write this down below:

 

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