DBT Skills Archive

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  • DBT Skills: Emotion Regulation

    This is the final installment of the DBT Skills series. I want to say a special thank you to Breyonne for her hard work in writing this series – I know it will be useful for so many of our readers!

    When I first heard the words ’emotion regulation’, the first thing I thought was, Oh great. Another therapist trying to tell me that feelings are just feelings, they can’t hurt me, they can’t kill me, blah blah yadda yadda. And I’ve been to enough therapy, enough counseling, enough self-help meetings to know this, even if only theoretically. So I wasn’t prepared to learn a whole lot from this module. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

    DBT Skills: Interpersonal Effectiveness

    I have to admit that social interaction and communication are not my strongest points. This is a relatively new development for me, or so I thought. I used to think I was great at using my voice, at standing up for myself, at being in social situations. Today there are a number of barriers that prevent me from being effective in interpersonal communication. One of them is mental and emotional health issues. It’s really hard for me to connect with others when I don’t feel so great myself. Another is acute hearing loss, in both ears, coupled with tinnitus. And finally – and probably the most overwhelming for me, especially when it comes to asking for what I need and speaking up for myself, or saying no when being asked for something – I was raised in an environment that didn’t really encourage me to use my voice under any circumstances. In fact, it was preferred if I was invisible, or at least that’s how I translated it.

    DBT Skills: Distress Tolerance

    I’m in a DBT group right now. It’s comprised of four modules, and I just finished my second, which is distress tolerance. Of all the things I could possibly say about it, the most accurate would be that it’s a lot of work. Think of it this way: it’s a lot of practicing things that are aimed at reducing distress, regardless of what mood or state of mind one might be in. Thankfully my emotions are still pretty distressing on a regular basis, so I was able to more or less have something to compare the results to.

    DBT Skills: Chain Analysis

    Who doesn’t want freedom from rapidly spiraling and/or out-of-control cognitive and emotional cycles? I know I do. A couple of months ago, after a particularly grueling weekend during which my emotional and cognitive processes completely derailed, leaving me feeling like an empty trainwreck, I spoke with one of my counselors and he suggested we do […]