This module will help you explore and understand:
- the different types of triggers
- your own triggers
What can trigger the urge to offend?
A ‘trigger’ is also called a cue, prompt or call to action. Triggers are what come before thoughts, feelings and behaviour and can lead to a response or change in emotion and behaviour.
There are different types of triggers:
These are triggers that come from within you. This includes thoughts, feelings and attitudes linked to lifestyle problems.
Examples include feeling unhappy, frustrated, bored, resentful, stressed and anxious.
These are triggers that come from outside of you. They are like an alarm sounding and could be something you see or hear.
They might come from different situations and come from our daily routines. For example walking through the kitchen might trigger us to open the fridge, or going onto adult pornography websites might trigger sexual thoughts about accessing sexual images of children.
What are your triggers?
Triggers often appear at the beginning of the cycle of offending and can prompt behavioural responses. Being aware of your triggers is essential to increase your ability to stop the cycle as early as possible.
On the downloadable worksheet identify your triggers – internal which includes emotional, and external which include situations, sights and sounds.
It is likely that you will have several triggers. Sometimes these will work by themselves and sometimes they will work as a combination.
Managing triggers and risks
Some places and situations present specific risks and triggers for people, for example being alone at home late at night with internet access. These can become more risky if combined with risky thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and can provide the beginning of a chain of unhealthy behaviour.
That’s why it is so important to recognise what your triggers are, and situations and environments that are risky for you.
On the downloadable worksheet list what these triggers and situations are and why they are risky. Then identify what you can do to manage them.
|Triggers – internal and external, including situations||How to manage|
|Feeling lonely.||Pick up the phone and call a friend.|
Think about the triggers you have identified.
- Are they things you can address on your own or do you need specialist support?
- Are you always aware of your moods and how to deal with them?
- Can you make changes to your environment and situations to reduce your risks?
Recognising triggers to your offending is an important part of being able to change your behaviour.
We now need to start looking at managing these triggers as this can help you minimise the risk of repeating your behaviour in the future.
Talk to us if you need support
You can use our helpline, live chat or secure message service for confidential support from our experienced advisors if you want to discuss anything covered in this module, have struggled when working through it, or want to go through the information with a practitioner to guide you.