Note: All identifiable information has been changed to protect patient health information.
Jim Fay was a 45-year-old Hispanic male who I had been working with for just over a month. Jim carried a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and we had been working together on better understanding the relationships between his thoughts, feeling, and behaviors in the context of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). During his therapy sessions, Jim consistently had difficulty identifying the situational factors that influenced his overall mental health, and would frequently tell me that things are “bad” without being able to provide specific examples or elaborate on his responses. As a result, Jim’s progress had been minimal and I was left wondering how to improve the effectiveness of my approach.
I started using Blueprint to help Jim improve his self-monitoring skills and insight into his lived experiences. Jim would complete his daily check-ins in between our therapy visits, which helped him begin to pay attention to the changes in his mood and behavior throughout the week. Jim and I collaboratively reviewed his data during the start of each therapy session, which allowed Jim the structure he needed to better communicate with me and engage in the therapeutic process.
Over time, Jim noticed that his most frequent symptom week after week was a lack of purpose in his daily life. Even more, careful review of his data during therapy sessions revealed that days in which Jim build purpose into his daily experiences were days in which his overall symptoms and behaviors were improved. As a result of his improved insight, I focused the reminder of Jim’s treatment on building meaningful activities into his day-to-day life, and evaluating their overall influence on his mental health and wellbeing. Through this experience, Jim greatly improved his ability to monitor his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a healthy and adaptive way, and his MDD symptoms subsided as he increasingly identified and engaged in activities that were personally fulfilling for him.
Cases such as Jim are great reminders of the subtle but important role that Blueprint can provide in nudging our patients toward success. As the clinical director at Blueprint, it's my hope that all our clinical partners share this same experience.