DBT Diaries – Week 16

*PLEASE REMEMBER NOT ALL GROUPS ARE RUN THE SAME WAY AND YOUR EXPERIENCES MAY BE DIFFERENT TO MINE. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG AS EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, THIS IS JUST MEANT AS A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE TOPIC FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED.

TOPIC

This week’s topic was the final in the emotion regulation module. It covered taking care of your mind by taking care of your body and being mindful of current emotions. Once again it all sounds super simple, but by making sure you have taken care of any physical vulnerability factors you’re better able to take care of your emotional health and the more you sit with and experience your emotions the less power they have over your actions. Continue reading

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DBT Diaries – Week 15

*PLEASE REMEMBER NOT ALL GROUPS ARE RUN THE SAME WAY AND YOUR EXPERIENCES MAY BE DIFFERENT TO MINE. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG AS EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, THIS IS JUST MEANT AS A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE TOPIC FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED.

TOPIC

This week’s topic was still continuing the emotion regulation module. It covered building mastery by doing things that make you feel competent and effective to combat hopelessness and coping ahead when you know you will be in a situation that will challenge you emotionally.

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DBT Diaries – Week 14

*PLEASE REMEMBER NOT ALL GROUPS ARE RUN THE SAME WAY AND YOUR EXPERIENCES MAY BE DIFFERENT TO MINE. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG AS EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, THIS IS JUST MEANT AS A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE TOPIC FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED.

TOPIC

This week’s topic was continuing the emotion regulation module. It covered identifying values and priorities and accumulating positive emotions in the long-term to build a life worth living. Something that might be relevant to everyone – not just those with BPD.

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DBT Diaries – Week 13

*PLEASE REMEMBER NOT ALL GROUPS ARE RUN THE SAME WAY AND YOUR EXPERIENCES MAY BE DIFFERENT TO MINE. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG AS EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, THIS IS JUST MEANT AS A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE TOPIC FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED.

TOPIC

This week’s topic was continuing the emotion regulation module. It covered accumulating positive emotions short-term, being mindful of positive experiences and being unmindful of worries. Again a deceptively simple message that can have a profound impact – especially for those prone to a negative outlook, anxiety, and worrying. Essentially this week was all about how to be happy.

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DBT Diaries – Week 12

*PLEASE REMEMBER NOT ALL GROUPS ARE RUN THE SAME WAY AND YOUR EXPERIENCES MAY BE DIFFERENT TO MINE. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG AS EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, THIS IS JUST MEANT AS A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE TOPIC FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED.

TOPIC

This week’s topic was continuing the emotion regulation module. It covered emotional problem-solving. If you have a situation or emotion that keeps occurring but can’t be managed with the skills you already have emotional problem-solving could be your answer.

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DBT Diaries – Week 11

*PLEASE REMEMBER NOT ALL GROUPS ARE RUN THE SAME WAY AND YOUR EXPERIENCES MAY BE DIFFERENT TO MINE. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG AS EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, THIS IS JUST MEANT AS A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE TOPIC FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED.

TOPIC

This week’s topic was continuing the emotion regulation module. It covered changing emotional responses by checking the facts and using the opposite action. That may sound really simple to most people but for those with BPD who experience heightened emotions and frequent mood swings, it’s not always as easy as you might think.

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DBT Diaries – Week 10

Week ten of DBT. To be honest I was really annoyed at having to attend this week as we were supposed to start last week (on the first day of my placement) but it got canceled due to sickness. I probably wasn’t in the best frame of mind going in but I’ve committed to this therapy now and I’m determined to see it through.
*Please remember not all groups are run the same way and your experiences may be different to mine. There is no right or wrong as everyone is different, this is just meant as a little insight into the topic for those who are interested.

Topic

This week’s topic was the beginning of the emotion regulation module. It’s all about being able to understand and recognise emotions, decrease the frequency of unwanted emotions and emotional vulnerability and decreasing emotional suffering. Sounds like heavy stuff but will actually be incredibly useful once I get my head around it.

Understanding and naming emotions

You’d think learning about emotions was a bit like teaching Granny to suck eggs, but it was actually really insightful. We discussed the reasons we have emotions and the physiological response to them before moving on to identifying factors that make regulating emotions hard for those with BPD.

A model for describing emotions

Because I like visual representations of things the model for describing emotions was really useful for me. Understanding emotions in the model format also allowed me to see the various points in the cycle that I could break the ‘natural’ flow of my brain and use skills to switch the way I was thinking and feeling. I would love to post a snap of the model but I can’t because of copyright – if you do want more information I’m happy to talk through it with you  – just drop me a message on here or social media.

Thoughts

Despite being in a huge grump coming to the session it has actually been really helpful. I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to learning about models and frameworks at university so I found it easier to engage or whether it was just the content but I really enjoyed the session and understand more about why learning the distress tolerance skills first is important.

It’s also given me the chance to view my thought processes, behaviours and emotions objectively and think about what advice I would give if it wasn’t me having trouble. The blank model handout was also super helpful for working on an issue I’m having currently to try and understand it better. All in all a good session for me.

DBT Diaries – Week 8

Week eight of DBT and we have completed the distress tolerance module. In between each module, we do two weeks of mindfulness to embed it into our brains. After this, there is a Christmas break and we’ll pick up again in the new year. Instead of recapping the mindfulness info (which you can find here if you like) I’m sharing some good mindfulness resources if you want to try it at home.

Mindfulness Resources

Websites

There are several good websites with info about mindfulness, there are also a lot of youtube channels that will talk you through mindfulness. It’s all about what works best for you. I’m sharing some of the websites with downloads and printouts that you can use but feel free to let me know of any of your favourites.

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/breathe.htm

www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/

https://bemindful.co.uk/

Apps

As with websites, there are a million and one apps that you can use to help you be more mindful. I’ve chosen three of my favourites that I have on my phone. I tend to jump between them to keep things interesting. Again if there’s any you love, feel free to comment on the post with them as I’m always looking for new ones!

Stop. Think. Breathe.

Aware

Bee Zone

Hope you find these helpful and please share your favourites too.

 

DBT Diaries – Week 7

Week seven of DBT and the week has been horrendous. I started some new medication over the past couple of weeks and the side effects floored me. Mainly extremely high anxiety which left me incapable of concentration, relaxation or sitting still. It genuinely felt like I had put my skin on backward, so heading to therapy wasn’t high on my list and I considered on several occasions not going but in the end, I did. I did find it hard to concentrate and was rather fidgety but I’m glad I went.

*Please remember not all groups are run the same way and your experiences may be different to mine. There is no right or wrong as everyone is different, this is just meant as a little insight into the topic for those who are interested.

Topic

This week’s topic was the final (I think) of the distress tolerance skills. This week we looked at willfulness and willingness and how to use half smiling and willing hands to manage willfulness and accept reality with your body. It sounds silly I know but bear with me.

Willfulness vs Willingness

Willingness is the readiness to engage with and participate in something fully – in this instance life. It’s doing just what is needed in your current situation, listening to and acting from wise mind. Therefore, willfulness in this context is refusing to accept reality for what it is or doing the opposite of what you know works. It can even be trying to fix every situation – not all situations can be fixed at least not immediately.

Half smiling and willing hands

As mentioned earlier half smiling and willing hands are ways to practice radical acceptance with the body. There is some scientific evidence (although I haven’t read it) which says unclenching your hands when angry or relaxing your face and allowing a gentle ‘smile’ or upturning of the corners of your mouth (as found in Buddist meditation) can help to turn the mind toward accepting the situation or at least relaxing.

 

Thoughts

 

I think the reason this works is you can’t say half smiling willing hands when you’re wound up without stopping to laugh at yourself because it sounds so silly. Whether that’s the case or there is some scientific reason behind it, from what I have seen so far it does actually work.

When our therapists started telling us about this I did cringe actually. I mean it sounds a bit cliche but the more I heard and tried it the more I chuckled and joined in being silly with my peers – definitely not something I expected after a week of extreme anxiety. As we tried the skills out I did struggle as I couldn’t concentrate enough to think of a recent time when I had been wilful or reconnect to the emotions I experienced. However our homework this week is to give it a go, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I’ll let you know how I get on next week – wish me luck.