Summary: Introduction to Therapy

Introduction to Therapy

This is a summary of the Introduction to Therapy module for your reference.

Welcome to the Goodpath Unified Protocol (UP) therapy program.

The main goal is to help you face intense emotions (such as feeling anxious or depressed), instead of avoiding them, so that you can live a fuller life.

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Our program helps you to accept your emotions when they occur and to respond to them in a more helpful way.

This approach also helps you understand how avoiding uncomfortable emotions often increases their intensity and frequency in the long term. But, facing them and responding in an effective way, gradually allows them to be more manageable.

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Our program is based on the Unified Protocol (UP), which is a type of therapy proven to help those with emotional disorders.

It will help you set goals, better understand your emotions, change problem behaviors, and respond differently to unhelpful thoughts - with opportunities to practice these skills.

The program runs over 12 weeks. You will be guided through weekly modules in the Goodpath app. You will use the Goodpath UP Therapy Workbook to track your progress and practice your skills.

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People with emotional disorders have intense emotions, often dislike the experience of these emotions, and try very hard to control or avoid feeling them. The model below explains this.

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“The Walk” is an example.

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Another example: “The Presentation.”

You’re feeling rather anxious about a work presentation. You think about the slides you’re planning.

Because you feel anxious, you delay getting started on the slides. You feel more anxious, then panicked the night before, and decide to stay home the day of your presentation.

Your emotions intensify - more anxiety, worry, shame, and embarrassment. 

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Which of the following describe your emotional experiences?

  1. I often have intense emotions.

  2. Intense emotions make me uncomfortable.

  3. I try to control or escape from my emotions.

  4. My efforts to avoid my emotions interfere with my day-to-day activities. 

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Describing your emotions is part of emotional awareness and understanding. This graphic shows there are many ways to describe your emotional experiences, both positive and negative. 

Do you experience any of the emotions intensely and/or frequently?

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Which of these do you experience intensely and or frequently?

  1. Sadness

  2. Despair

  3. Disappointment

  4. Neglected

  5. Shame

  6. None of the above

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Which of these do you experience intensely and or frequently?

  1. Fear

  2. Horror

  3. Insecure

  4. Nervous

  5. Scared

  6. Terror

  7. None of the above

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Which of these do you experience intensely and or frequently?

  1. Anger

  2. Exasperation

  3. Irritable 

  4. Rage

  5. None of the above

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Building skills to manage your emotions is like building a house. A house is built based on a blueprint from the bottom up - you have the foundation, the floors of the house, and then the roof - and then you move in.

Goodpath’s UP program is designed the same way. We start with setting goals. Then we help you learn and practice several different emotion management skills to help you reach your goals.

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This allows you to track your progress and to problem-solve with your coach if you experience any barriers.

You can follow the changes in your emotions using a Progress Record in the UP Therapy Workbook that was sent to you.

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How do you feel about facing your intense emotions instead of avoiding them?

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Have you ever tried to learn something new? Maybe a foreign language or a work-related skill? Or, think about the last time you committed to “getting in shape.” Did it involve regular exercise? 

If you’ve ever tried to achieve these or similar goals, you know that it takes practice, practice, practice! 

Between each of the UP modules, you’ll monitor and record your emotions to check your progress. And, you’ll practice. As you know, learning something new takes a lot of practice.

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Time for homework!

Please complete the Emotion Assessments and track your progress with the Progress Record. These can be found in your UP Therapy Workbook.

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Here's a chance to check your knowledge. From the following, which are true?

  1. UP stands for 'Unified Protocol'.

  2. People with emotional disorders usually have mild-to-moderate emotions.

  3. Recording (writing down) your emotions helps you understand your emotional experience.

  4. Practicing UP skills is an optional part of the protocol.

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Answers

  1. True. UP does stand for Unified Protocol. It is a type of behavioral therapy that is for people with emotional disorders.

  2. False. People with emotional disorders usually have intense emotions.

  3. True. Recording your emotions over time helps you to see changes.

  4. False. Practicing the skills you will learn is a required part of the Unified Protocol.