Many people are able to just sail through any kind of distress or crisis in their lives. Others on the other hand, seem to become overwhelmed even by the mildest of distress. DBT can help, it teaches clients Emotional Regulation Skills to manage their moods, emotions and thoughts. DBT helps to regulate not only the relationships we have with ourselves, it also helps us regulate the relationships with others by learning Interpersonal Effectiveness skills. It also provides the maintenance skill of Mindfulness to help clients maintain and regulate their wellbeing. Distress Tolerance skills are the lifeboat skills that clients deploy when feeling overwhelmed by powerful and often destructive urges and intense emotions.
Aim of DBT
The main aim of DBT is finding a way that clients can learn skills that they can apply to their everyday life while learning different techniques that will help them gain control over the distress, their behavior, emotions, and their thoughts. Some of the important components of DBT and distress management include the following:
- Interpersonal Effectiveness – Clients learn how they can get their needs met more effectively, especially when facing distress. Therapists look at different ways in which their clients can learn how to ask for what they want in life. They also are taught how to assert themselves in a positive manner and know when to say no when needed. They also are taught to set down boundaries that will let them build better relationships and have more self-respect.
- Mindful Skills – There has been plenty of research that has shown that practicing mindfulness can be a very effective way of metabolising distress and relieving stress levels. With DBT, mindfulness can serve several different purposes. It can help relieve stress, help one to feel a lot more grounded and centered. It can also bring them back into the moment. They then learn to respond in a more effective manner to what is happening in the present moment.
- Creating a Wiser Mind – mindfulness can teach a person to strengthen their communication skills and self regulation skills this can lead them to access an aspect of their self that is calmer and can be more intuitive and show how to go forward in stressful situations.
- Regulate Emotions – DBT can help us to learn how to develop skills to help us manage our emotions when they become overwhelming and out of control, clients with BPD often feel like they are living on a roller coaster ride and have little control over their feelings and emotions
- Distress Tolerance – When a person is vulnerable to being emotionally triggered it can feel exhausting and hopeless, with the DBT Distress Tolerance skills clients are able to learn highly effective skills that help them manage the extremes of emotional dysregulation.
- Radical Acceptance – DBT teaches clients how to consciously learn how to accept distress instead of pushing against it. When things in life don’t go as one planned or hoped. Clients are taught how to acknowledge reality as it is.
Distress Can Be Toxic
When a person experiences too much stress and distress in their lives, it can be toxic to their health and overall well-being. Research has shown that those who grown up in dysfunctional families tend to be four times more likely to end up suffering from a Personality Disorder and substance abuse issues.
DBT can help clients with these problems to cope better with their emotional pain and feelings of hopelessness.