Container – https://www.resilientlifetherapy.net/new-blog/2018/8/16/the-container-exercise
Sample progress note: The focus of this session was… The therapist lead a mindfulness activity (i.e., Container) to help ct. practice mindfulness and containment. Ct. (engaged/did not engage in the activity), and they reported that the activity was (helpful/difficult/not helpful).
Ok, now, close your eyes and imagine a container. It can be any container. What does it look like? How big is it? What color is it? Is it something special to you or something you’ve seen before? Where is your container? Pick something that has a lid or would have the ability to hold “stuff” securely. Some people have imagined armoires, unique wooden containers with small and big drawers, tool boxes, mason jars, rubber-maids, cookie jars, etc. There is no right or wrong. This will be your very own container. Now just take a moment to imagine it.
Now, do you have anything that is bothering you? Identify something mildly to moderately nagging; something you can’t do anything about right now. Perhaps you’re at work and keep getting a nagging thought and feeling about organizing a closet of yours that you just can’t seem to get around to lately. Or perhaps you feel a little uncomfortable about a recent interaction you had with a friend and its not the right time to resolve it with them because they are out of town or unavailable. Maybe you’re nervous about an upcoming event you need to attend or trip you need to take. Something like that. On a scale of zero to 10 (with 10 being the most distress you can imagine and zero being completely neutral) think of something that is a two or a three.
Notice how you feel when you think about it. Notice what you see in your mind’s eye when you think about it. Notice your thoughts. Be with this for a moment. Now imagine sending your feelings, the images, and thoughts to your container. You can do this by imagining them (one at a time or as a single combined unit) flowing from your body into the container. Or you can imagine walking up to your container and placing these items in, followed by placing the lid on it, and then walking away. Whatever works for you. Take a moment to try this.
Now, check in with yourself again. What do you notice in your body… in your mind? Has the distress reduced? How would you rate it on a scale of zero to 10? If you noticed that your distress reduced, this may be a very useful tool for you to engage regularly to help manage emotions and mental difficulty.