Step 1 – Report a single situation or event that occurred—an everyday event which led to being worked up. Focus on a brief description of what happened: specifically, what triggered temper and symptoms.
When describing the situation or event, be clear but brief. It’s tempting to go into a lot of background and detail, but this is usually unnecessary and even distracting. Practice focusing on just a few sentences of basic information that will clarify the situation or event that generated the symptoms or discomfort. Notice in the sample examples how the descriptions in Step 1 are both brief and precise.
Step 2 – Report the feelings you experienced—both physical and mental. (For instance, angry and fearful thoughts, confusion, palpitations, disturbing impulses, tightness in the chest, lowered feelings, sweaty palms, etc.)
People often skip this step to get to Step 3, “spotting.” However, while this step, like the others, should be kept brief, an important part of the Recovery International system is learning to be objective in recognizing and describing physical and mental responses. This objectivity makes those responses seem less threatening and overwhelming. Avoid diagnosing (“I became paranoid.”) and just describe the physical and mental sensations (“I felt flushed and angry, my head hurt,” etc.).
Step 3 – Report “spotting” of fearful and/or angry temper, the Recovery International tools used to help the situation and the self-endorsement for the effort.
Identify the tools—”spots”—that helped you deal with the situation. Stay focused on the tools and concepts; be clear about how the tools apply to the what you felt as a result of the event.
Step 4 – Begin with, “Before I had my Recovery International training…. ,” and describe the temperamental reaction and feelings you would have experienced in former days. What would have happened then versus what happened now? This will help to note the progress made.
A crucial part of training comes when you see how you’ve improved through the use of the tools. This step is important in helping you see that improvement.