DBT Skills Training teaches ways to resolve problematic behaviours and how to cope with situations in attempt to solve a problem. These behaviours might provide temporary relief, but they may not be effective long-term for your health and wellbeing. The function of DBT Skills Training is to enhance the client’s capabilities to learn new behaviours in all relevant contexts.
Skills training is frequently taught in groups during weekly sessions, with the full curriculum taking 24 weeks. Homework is assigned by group leaders to allow patients to use their skills in practice in their everyday lives. There are also briefer schedules which teach only a few of the skills.
The four skills taught are:
- Emotion Regulation
- Distress Tolerance
- Interpersonal Effectiveness
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is pretty straightforward, meaning to allow yourself to be fully aware and present in the moment. It sounds easy right, but there’s much more to it than that. It is to suggest that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, what you are doing and the space you are moving through. It means allowing your mind to take over but not to be engrossed by excessive thoughts, and overthinking, leading us to feel anxious, and to think logically about what we are doing whilst not being overly reactive.
We can cultivate these innate qualities of being present by applying simple practices which will benefit not only ourselves but also, our loved ones, friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. Mindfulness doesn’t mean you need to change who you are, but to recognise and cultivate the best of who we are as human beings. It can be more than just a practice we do but can be a way of living. It brings more awareness and care into everything we do and cuts out the need to stress, making our lives even easier.
Not only will mindfulness make you feel better, it can clear our mind of the unnecessary stresses to come up with new solutions and ideas in our day-to-day lives.
What is Emotion Regulation?
As adults we are expected to regulate our emotions, especially negative emotions such as anger, anxiety and frustration. All of us have the experience of feeling emotionally overwhelmed and we then allow these emotions to control our actions. Usually when this happens, we regret our subsequent actions, for example, the things we might say and do, making us wish we had the capabilities to being able to keep our emotions in check. In conjunction with mindfulness, emotion regulation will help us take charge of our negative emotions and turn them into positive ones. This ability to change emotions that you want to change can lead to improved mood, feeling of self-worth and empathy towards others.
What is Distress Tolerance?
Distress Tolerance skills are used when a person is in a particularly difficult or impossible situation. These skills are used to help us cope during a crisis and helps us gain the ability to tolerate short term or long term pain, physical or emotional.
What is Interpersonal Effectiveness?
Interpersonal Effectiveness means asking for what you want and saying no whilst still maintaining self-respect and relationships with others. These skills are useful for those struggling with borderline personality disorder and attachment issues as well as people who what to strengthen their relationships with those around them.