If you’ve ever had support in reaching a goal, you know how frustrating it can be in developing the strategies and skills need to reach the goal, and actually implementing those strategies, using those skills in life. It’s the common struggle for those wanting to lose weight: “I know what to do, but doing it is so hard.” If the goal is managing depression or anxiety, changing problematic relationship patterns, or controlling addiction it’s the same struggle. We know that integrating new behaviors into life is the greatest challenge for people who receive behavioral health services. We also know that when people seek help for medical conditions, it is often the behavioral recommendations that people struggle with most. Put simply, change is hard. But it is possible. The problem often arises when we assume that since we know what we should do, we’ll do it. And if we don’t then it’s a character flaw, so don’t bother asking for help just try harder. Wrong.
In session with a Specialist or in conversation with a friend or relative, it makes perfect sense to use the skills and techniques discussed instead of having road rage, taking another drink or ruining another relationship. But we respond to patterns. When we find ourselves in the familiar pattern that led to the behavior we are now trying to change we’re already triggered. It’s nearly impossible to stop in the middle of the behavior. Think about how hard it is to spit out the cookie you started eating even though you were trying to manage your weight, or how hard it is to take a deep breath instead of shouting at the children when they’ve disobeyed again. We recommend staying ahead of the trigger, the same way a physician would recommend staying ahead of the pain for a post-operative patient. People can almost always tell what their triggers are, they can sometimes even tell when they are likely to happen. But then they mostly brace themselves for it and if they lose their grip on stifling their reaction then here come the behaviors they are working to change. That’s when the parent lets loose on their child again, or when the person trying not to drink cracks open a bottle or when someone retreats into social isolation.
Our platform helps to clearly see behavior patterns. Some people already have an idea of what their triggers are, some do not, or some might think they do but then when they see their data they find out something surprising about themselves. Our Specialists then help people understand their patterns and set goals for new ways of responding to triggers. Our bot, Karla™ will help them stay ahead of the trigger by pushing the interventions and strategies developed in the meeting with the Specialist, delivered in the moment they are needed. We have created an Extension of Support that helps before, during and after someone needs help to reach the goals for a healthy and fulfilling life.