Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that utilizes a cognitive-behavioural approach in helping people learn new skills and strategies so they can build better lives. It is an evidence-based method for treating several mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Through DBT, you can learn how to change the behaviour patterns that you are struggling with by applying the following strategies:
1. Distress Tolerance
By working with a DBT therapist, you can develop distress tolerance, which is an essential skill for coping with a stressful time in your life. Some of the important distress tolerance strategies you learn through DBT are called TIPP Skills:
T stands for Tip the Temperature: Guickly changing the temperature of your face and body by putting an ice pack on your cheeks or splashing cold water on your face will cause a sudden drop in your temperature and cause your pulse to drop, thereby relaxing your body.
I stands for Intense Exercise: When suddenly engaging in aerobic activity, your mind will get distracted from the emotional distress and focus instead on the physical activity.
P stands for Paced Breathing: Slowing down and focusing on your breathing will help calm down your body.
And the final P stands for Paired Muscle Relaxation: Starting from head to toe, tense and release each major muscle group for 5 seconds. Paying attention to the tension and relaxation of each muscle while breathing deeply. This can help slowly bring your heart rate down.
The TIPP skills can help improve your ability to regulate strong emotions, manage stressful situations and feel better. Working with a DBT therapist will ensure that you are applying these steps properly and eventually mastering the skill of distress tolerance.
2. Interpersonal Effectiveness
Learning about interpersonal effectiveness through DBT can help improve the way that you communicate with others. This skill is important because how you communicate with others has an impact on the quality of your relationships with those around you. DBT teaches how to communicate with others in a thoughtful and deliberate way as opposed to reacting impulsively due to stress or intense emotions. Two of the main components of interpersonal effectiveness are the ability to ask for things when you are in need and the ability to say no. These skills can help you get and keep important relationships which can have a positive effect on your mental health.
Mindfulness is another important technique that you can learn through DBT that helps with your emotional regulation. Mindfulness means paying attention to what is in the present, and then accepting it. When you practice mindfulness, you can take control of your mind instead of having your mind control you. Mindfulness exercises you learn through DTB can help distract you from emotional distress and live a calmer and happier life.
The Toronto Neurofeedback and Psychotherapy Centre offers DBT therapy. You are not alone. Book a free 30 minute phone consult today.