Red Flag Trigger Sheet

The Red Flag Trigger Sheet found in Chapter 15 is a very important document.  Although you would like to go through treatment and then be done with it, this is not a realistic goal.  For anyone making a behavioral change, maintaining that change is as important as the initial work.  Imagine a neglected weed-filled garden.  You may spend a weekend cleaning out all the weeds and replanting and re-mulching the garden.  It looks beautiful.  But to keep it that way, you have to keep weeding.  Chapter 15 discusses why slipping is normal and what you can do to avoid slips.  The Red Flag Trigger Sheet is an important tool in designing your maintenance program.  The first column is for the time and date a trigger occurred.  The second column is for the trigger/red flag. A trigger is defined as what was happening that seemed to set the stage for a slip.  Was it a surprise exposure?  Were you stressed because you were sick?  Was a very judgmental relative visiting?  Were you on vacation?  The next three columns are for describing the characteristics of the red flag.  Was it an internal (feeling sick) or an external (seeing dog feces) event?  Was it controllable (we went on vacation) or uncontrollable (I was diagnosed with arthritis)?  And finally was it predictable (I face it every day at work) or unpredictable (I had a car accident).  All of these will play a role for the coping plans you will include in the next column.  In the last column, you will rate your anxiety on a scale of 1 – 10 or 1 – 100.  Chapter 15 contains further information how to use this in planning your maintenance program.