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Detached Self-Soother Mode / Schema Mode Therapy

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Jess O’Garr (Clinical Psychologist) explains the role and features of the Detached Self-Soother schema mode.

Hey everyone jessica clinical psychologist for the another schema mode video right another flight strategy this one is the detached self soother okay so the detached cell so that it’s different to the detached protector because the detached cell soother relies on something to take the feelings away when you are feeling overwhelmed by the stress

Okay so the detached self soother is a dependence on i can’t handle this feeling i need to get rid of it and i need something to help me take away the feelings and so the things that we see people referring to and kind of maladaptive coping mode because the things that they choose aren’t helpful food particularly kind of sugary junk crap alcohol drugs gambling

Phone shopping sex gaming right but done in a way that is over the top extreme mindless and gets into regrettable actions okay a little bit of those things in small doses with a kind of functional view of using the healthy adult this is something that helps me for some of those okay but the detached self through their losers control of their ability to regulate

The volume or the frequency or the amount um isn’t fully mindful of the process of not actually really getting any benefit out of it but develops a really strong attachment and dependence on the thing doing the work for you so the scheme is mostly associated with this one we’re going to see a lot of insufficient self-control particularly with the inability to stop

Themselves when they’re getting too far into it um and difficulties with what we call delayed gratification or the difficulty of i need to try something and it’s going to be hard but i’m going to pursue it people with insufficient self-control going i gave it a crack it didn’t work i’m giving up now all right and what we see then is um i’ll see people maybe they’ll

Try a skill of oh i’m feeling really distressed i’ll go and try this thing they’ll give it a crack oh no i’ve done that for two minutes it didn’t work i’m not gonna that i’m not doing it anymore i’ll go back to the thing that i know works for me okay the triggers is an experience of being overwhelmed by intense emotions and a strong dislike and unwillingness to

Com to tolerate this so we call it detesting distress right so when you go i hate distress i hate the feelings of it i hate my emotions i don’t want it i need something to take it away for me the detached protector has this special superpower where they can just turn it off themselves it’s like they found the off switch for their emotions detached self soother is

More using something to turn it off for them the awareness it’s those thoughts of i can’t handle this it’s too much i don’t like it i hate this feeling and i need to get rid of it there’s a lot of mindlessness involved in this so with the food it’s kind of just you’re not even really kind of aware of how much you’re eating what you’re eating there’s no focus on

The taste or the enjoyment factor it’s just i’ve got to get this into me until the feeling finally goes away it’s the unwillingness to be skillful or the unwillingness to persist in trying skills and a really strong sense of nothing else works except this whatever this is for you kind of insert chosen poisonous option right the male adapted this obviously there’s

A really strong dependence on the thing and this is where we start getting into addiction if it’s drugs alcohol even prescription prm we see some people start taking more than what’s required or oh i feel this flusher in my heart it might be a panic attack quick where are my benzos without any sense of okay well if i just kind of control my breathing i can get

Through this and let’s wait and see what happens the detached self-suit is reaching for things to get rid of the emotion as quickly as they possibly can we can see disordered eating come with this if eating is kind of the chosen method we can see financial problems if it’s around shopping or if it’s around gambling and because they have a difficulty sustaining

Effort in being skillful they never really get to the point of being skillful because using skills and developing skills takes work takes if it takes practice the detached software that gives up quickly before they’ve actually had the time to sustain the effort in the practice okay the crossover as i said detach protector but that’s more their ability to kind

Of turn off their emotions that just it may be that they’re sitting there flicking through their phone but it’s more oh well i’ve already switched off my emotions and now i’m just going to kill some time so i’ll have a look at the i’ll flick through instagram or whatever whereas the detached protector is i can’t handle this so i’ve got to bury myself my phone

And i’ve got to do this and i’ve got to do that and i’m looking for this and i’ve still got that feeling okay i need to do more i’ll switch to gaming and i’ll do this so there’s more kind of frenetic energy of trying to get rid of it with the detached self-suitor all right in terms of needs boundaries that’s the biggest one and boundaries of your ability to hold

Yourself accountable in the activities that you choose to try and manage your distress and the way in which you engage in it now self-soothing is a skill that we teach we teach this in schema we teach this in dbt we teach this in compassion focused therapy we teach this kind of even in your basic cbt most therapies have some form of when you’re feeling distressed

You need to look after yourself and there can be a bit of a mixed message there but it ultimately comes down to what is the function of the behavior now i know that when i’m feeling stressed my go-to is primarily cup of tea and i will deliberately use loose leaf because it takes longer to brew and there’s an element of well if i’m feeling overwhelmed and i need to

Look after myself then i’m going to use the good stuff and if it’s nighttime then i have a robot that doesn’t have any caffeine in it so i can still engage in myself soothing regime without having kind of the caffeine consequences to scrub my sleep later but the function of it is i’m going to have this cup of tea while i sit here for a few moments and i allow

Myself to just stop and rest i notice the emotions i can feel the emotions i have confidence in my ability to tolerate the emotions and i know the emotions will pass and i need to look after myself whilst those emotions kind of pass that’s appropriate and skillful self-soothing this the detached self-soothing is oh my god i’ve got to get rid of this feeling i

Can’t tolerate this feeling so the fun on the surface you’re still kind of having something or using something or drinking or eating something but the function behind of it is the dependence on the thing to do the work for you as opposed to skillful self-soothing of i’m simply looking after myself whilst i have or whilst i enjoy the emotion but it’s done in a

More mindful controlled and skillful way so the healthy adult is around switching the way in which you engage in soil soothing so if the detached self-soothing the mindless the autopilot the desperately scrambling for something to do the work for you that’s not adaptive that’s not functional so it’s switching it into yes you’re allowed to self-soothe but we need

To channel that into more skillful options we need to self-soothe with compassion and with validation and with self-care not with a mindless flurry of activity to try and get rid of the feeling for others the biggest thing that other people can do to help you manage this is don’t enable it i’ve had patients tell me recently that they’ve been working really really

Hard on trying to reduce their alcohol use for example but they’ve been known by their friends as being the party girls so then they rocked up to a dinner and someone went here we ordered your favorite rose for you whatever because we knew that you liked it and she’s like ah thanks wasn’t planning on drinking tonight so but it’s harder to do that when someone

Shoves a glass of wine in your hand so it’s having the conversation with people to go look kind of this is a trigger area for me or this is something that i’m trying really hard to work on please don’t offer it don’t pressure me into it um don’t invite me to go and engage in that behavior if you’re going to do it because it’s not a safe thing for me to be kind

Of engaging in or using at the moment right if you can work with other people to help kind of brainstorm or troubleshoot what some alternatives would look like um if they are going to order you a drink don’t order you a rose get you a mineral water instead or whatever it is to be able to kind of work out the substitutions same thing for you if you know that you

Usually kind of binge eat on chocolate then can you swap out the volume the type the availability so that you don’t buy it you don’t have it in the house so if you really really need it you’ve got to actually put pants on and get out of your house and go and get them and ways of reducing your accessibility to the regrettable action involved in detachable soothing

All right i hope you found that one helpful leave me a comment and let me know if you found some skillful ways to substitute for detached cell soother into skillful cells through that i want to hear about it so hit the like button hit subscribe we’ll keep coming at you with some more schema therapy videos and i will see you next time thanks guys see ya

Transcribed from video
Detached Self-Soother Mode / Schema Mode Therapy By the PSYCH collective