5 – 1 Scale

It is a very common practice for therapists to encourage their clients to use scales to monitor “the self”.  In a moment of crisis, the client may find it difficult to “see the forest from the trees”.  So, I  encourage my clients working through depression to concentrate on 5 different objects close by.  These objects can be a chair, a window, or even a pet.  The client should draw their attention to 5 objects they can see, 5 objects they can touch, and 5 objects the can hear.  When the client has completed the “5 series” then they begin finding 4 different objects to see, touch, hear and so on until they reach 1. 

This exercise allows the client to distract the brain from harmful or self sabotaging thoughts to regain a sense of balance.  The exercise also allows time for medical or mental health professionals to arrive in a crisis situation. 

I have encouraged the use of  similar activities for clients who are having difficulty with anxiety.  If you have encouraged others to use this tool or have used them yourself, please leave a quick comment with your experiences.


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