Way back when I started this process on the 21st July I completed a CORE 34 in order to get a baseline to measure any change. As I described in the earlier blog, completing a CORE 34 is something I would do at the beginning of every course of therapy with clients. As well as providing a baseline, the CORE 34 also measures risk factors including self harm or suicide. In terms of measuring my own change, or if I was working with a client who had expressed difficulties in the area of anxiety, I would more than likely follow up the CORE 34 with a tool like the Becks Anxiety Index (BAI) specifically designed to capture information relating to anxiety.
I completed a BAI back on the 22nd July and I have included the results below. The scale is really simple and easy to use, and it can be an ideal way to measure change through a therapeutic journey. It’s easy to download http://www.manchester.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/19269/beck_anxiety_inventory_questionnaire.pdf and it takes only a few minutes to complete with a really easy to understand scale for comparison. As you can see from my results, I scored a 15 with the highest scores attributed to the following questions:
When working with a client I would normally ask which of these highest scores is the most noticeable, or stands out. If nothing really stands out I might ask if looking at the scores on paper means anything or brings anything up? The answers to these questions can often bring the opportunity to look at what is happening now for a client, and ask the question if these types of feelings have ever came up in situations in the past, so taking my answers as an example, two things that stand out for me are the questions “unable to relax” and “heart pounding and racing”. I recognise these physical sensations as a recurring experience throughout my life, and a lot of memories attached to these sensations are not the most cherished memories I hold. At times in my life when I have felt fear, panic, or terror, these are the prominent sensations, my physical memories which appear linked to emotions I perceive to be unpleasant.
As a therapist, once I have uncovered this hidden information, I can now fully explore the situations in which these memories were created, and I can use tools such as the ABC or Five Factor Model to explore the memories and uncover the thoughts linked to these memories. Ultimately, it is the thoughts I want to work with, to explore by asking questions regarding the validity of the thoughts, the usefulness of them, whether they are based on evidence, and how these thoughts are affecting me. If they are not useful to me, it might be time to challenge the thoughts and come up with more rational processes, however using the BAI has provided the starting point for everything which follows.