Practice Stage User's Guide

This stage helps you develop a practice for activating the capacity in the Practice Situation you have chosen. You plan the details of how you will engage in the practice. There are additional pages for helping you stay on track and be accountable for following through with it.

The Inspiration Page deals with inspiring you to actually do this practice. You need to be highly motivated to do a homework practice, so it is worth your taking some time to explore the pain and difficulties caused by this pattern and what you have to gain by having the capacity instead. For example, you might remember that, “I resent that I don’t get what I need from my relationship.”

Here is the plan for the practice. You’ll be paying attention during the Practice Situation or during those times when the Practice Situation may arise. You will activate the healthy capacity through statements you say to yourself, body sensations and posture that evoke the capacity, and possibly help from people in the Practice Situation. You will also get help from your Inner Champion, which is a healthy part of you that supports you in having this capacity in your life.

Most people have more success with these practices if they have someone to witness them and be their supporter. You can ask your therapist to be your witness, and you might want to get a friend or buddy to help, too.

On the Evoking Page, you plan how to activate the capacity. This can be done with statements like, “I have my own needs and opinions,” which evokes the Assertiveness Capacity. Activation can be done with the body, for example, by adopting a straight spine. Or you can ask for aid from other people in the Practice Situation who would be helpful. For example, you might ask a friend to not accept your statements that you don’t need anything for yourself.

Inner Champion Pages. An Inner Champion is an inner ally that supports you and helps you feel good about yourself. It encourages you to be who you truly are rather than fitting into a rigid, self-defeating pattern. One way to think about an Inner Champion is that it is an ideal supportive parent that you always wished you had. There is a different flavor of Inner Champion for each healthy capacity you want to develop. So if you are working on the People-Pleasing Pattern, you will be activating your Assertiveness Inner Champion. For more information, see our books Freedom from Your Inner Critic and Activating Your Inner Champion.

There are three pages to help you develop your Inner Champion for the targeted capacity.

Inner Champion Page 1. There is a guided meditation for discovering the sources of your Inner Champion in positive memories or supportive figures from fiction, myth, or history. (This meditation is not specific to this capacity.) Then you choose a name for the Inner Champion that is specific to the capacity you want to develop.

Inner Champion Page 2. You choose an image for this Inner Champion.

Inner Champion Page 3. You choose or enter the statements you would like this Inner Champion to say to you. For example, the Assertiveness Inner Champion might say, “You have the right to say no.” Then you do a targeted guided meditation to access this Inner Champion.

The Practice Plan Page is a compilation of all the information you have entered in Stages 4 and 5, which will help you do the practice. You can print it out or access it from a device to support you in doing the practice.

Practice Tracking Pages

In addition, Self-Therapy Journey has three different practice tracking pages with detailed questions to answer.

Incident Tracking Page. You fill in this page at the time you do a practice or as soon after as possible. You enter what happened during the Practice Situation and how you responded.

Daily Tracking Page. At the end of each day, you reflect on how well you engaged in the practice that day and how to improve.

Weekly Tracking Page. At the end of each week, you reflect on your practice for the week and plans for the next week.

If you weren’t able to do the practice, there is a page that lists the most common reasons why this may have happened and what to do about them. You may need to pick a Practice Situation that is easier or lower your expectations for success at first. You may need a better signal to remind you to do the practice. You may need more support, or you may need to change your external life circumstance. You may need to practice the capacity in a safe situation before you try it in real life. You may need to work on a colluding or polarized pattern, or some other pattern that is interfering with your practice. You may need to do more inner work on your pattern, on another wound, or another working through sequence.

Each of these three types of tracking pages asks different questions, so you shouldn’t skip one type of page because you think the material has been covered in another. You can print out these pages or access them from a device.