Do I write down/make a list of my ANTs?


#1

I was listening to Dr. Richards talk about trying to “catch ANTs” and I was wondering if you’re supposed to write them down or whatever so that once you catch them you’re aware of them. Or is it something that should really just occur more in the moment?


#2

Hi papertrails. I don’t think it is necessary to write anything down (at least it is not mentioned in the series). What the staff from SAI often suggest on the forums is “don’t try to do the therapy perfectly”. So I guess if you feel it helps you, there should be no problem doing it, but it should also be enough to do what Session 3 handouts say (catch, stop, label & distract yourself). Imo, don’t try to keep track of all your ANTs, for me at least they would be so many it would make it much worse if I actually wrote them all down and kept track of them :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#3

Maybe it does not matter how you catch your ANTs as long as it helps you to be aware of them and stop being too entangled to those thoughts.

For some, it can be tiring to write things down but if you love to do so, by all means, do it.


#4

I don’t think there is a need to write them down. The idea is to catch them as they come in and realize that they are ANTs. After you have done that for a while they will not bother you anymore no matter what the ANT subject may be about.


#5

I would not advise writing down your ANTs. You decide for yourself.

Instead, deal with the ANTs as they come up, as anxiouspa says. ANTs have a funny way of never stopping, always mutating, popping up here or there, changing what they say and how they look - IF you let them. You have ANTs, sure! But it almost doesn’t matter the appearance of that ANT now. What matters is that you can identify that when whatever ANT pops up, you deal with it accordingly, by the therapy, rationally. Apply that to all ANTs, no matter shape/color/feel/form.

If you want to write down all your ANTs, you may never stop writing, and you’re spending a whole lot of ink and time on looking at that ANT rather than applying the solution. That’s my opinion, especially first time through therapy. You know what’s right for you.