• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

DBT work sheets

G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
1,306
Ok I took the day off today to lounge around and rejuvenate. So I thought I would make use of my time to go over the content I'm learning in DBT, in case it's of any use to anyone else.

I want to start by saying that the DBT group was not what I expected. I thought it was going to be all of us sitting around discussing our trauma and various ill-fitting coping strategies. The fact is, at least in my class, you are not allowed to speak about past trauma or destructive coping strategies. Instead it feels more like a university lecture, with homework, than any type of psycotherapy session.

Mindfulness

The first week, we discussed mindfulness. When the doctor asked the class what it was, I said "it's emptying your mind" ... to which she said "no, that's what most people think, but it's not."

Here are the three basic premises of mindfulness:

1. Intentionally living in the present -- resisting the urge to look back at what happened, and instead look at what is in the day ahead.
2. The hard one: No judging or rejecting any moment that occurs. It's ok to notice the consequences and determining what was helpful and what was not from any action or interaction, but you have to let go of things like evaluation, avoidance, suppressing (ack!) or blocking present moments.
3. Detaching from the moment. Work on what is in front of you, instead of thinking how it's always been.

Mindfulness and mindfulness skills can be practiced at any time, anywhere, while doing anything. Intentionally paying attention to the moment, without judging it or holding on to it, is all that is needed.

The Wise Mind

Our thinking tends to be either the Reasonable Mind or the Emotional Mind. The Reasonable Mind is doing things analytically, including suppression, pragmatic without emotional response. The Emotional Mind is ruled by whatever emotion is surfacing at that moment, completely illogical, based on urges.

The Wise Mind is using both the Reasonable and Emotional Minds to find a balance. You can be analytical about something, but still have compassion. It ties the left brain and right brain together.

To practice Wise Mind, try the following:

Close your eyes and start breathing in and out. Deep, steady breaths.

On each breath in, ask yourself a question, as you breath out, listen for the answer. It's important to listen for the answer and not let your mind search for it. Just breath in and out until it surfaces.


Taking Hold of your Mind

Some of the skills we can practice to help us towards Wise Mind is isolating our sense and focusing intently on one sense at a time.

The first lesson is observation. You can do any number of things, like sit quietly and listen to all the different sounds around you. Let your mind identify each sound and then move on to the next one.

For Observation they recommend:

1. Notice your body sensations
2. Pay attention on purpose to everything.
3. Control your attention by focusing on one thing in your five senses specifically.
4. Practice wordless watching -- watch your thoughts come and go in your mind and identify what type of thoughts they are -- thinking or feeling.
5. Observe both inside and outside of yourself. The Observations can come from external sources like sight, sound, touch; but you can also observe internally by using Step 4 and breathing in and out.


For Describe they recommend:

1. Put words on an experience. Understand what is "just the facts" and what is biased. (I hate that person, vs, that person makes me feel bad). Recognize when you are making interpretations and not actually dealing with the facts. You cannot, for example, identify someone else's emotions -- they feel sad. How do you know?
2. Label what you observe. Put a name on your feelings, label a thought as a thought, a feeling as a feeling, an action as an action.
3. Unglue your interpretations and opinions. Describe Who, What, Where, When that you observe. Never why.

These tools above will help you particularly during crisis mode by distracting your brain and empowering you to identify what is really wrong.

For Participate they recommend:

1. Throw yourself completely into any activity in front of you. Remove emotions from the actual work needed to be done.
2. Become one with whatever you are doing: give all of your attention to the task.
3. Go with the flow. If you focus on the task only, you will be better able to adjust to changes.
 
G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
1,306
Taking Hold of your Mind: How Skills

Be nonjudgmental:
1. See, but don't evaluate as good or bad
2. Accept each moment as it is -- if you go out in the rain, but have fun at the party, all of it is good.
3. Acknowledge the difference between the helpful and the harmful, but don't judge any.
4. Acknowledge your values, your wishes, your emotional reactions, but don't judge any.
5. Hardest of all, don't judge your judging.


One-Mindful:
1. Be completely present in the moment. Let go of the past or future.
2. Do one thing at a time. It will all get done.
Doing this will increase your happiness. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are worrying, worry. When you are planning, plan. But one thign at a time -- you will be able to resolve each and not feel overwhelmed.
3. Let go of distractions. If other thoughts or strong feelings distract you, regroup and go back to the one thing you were doing at a time.
4. Concentrate your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once. Stop. Go back to the one thing at a time.

Effective:
1. Be mindful of your goals in each situation.
2. Focus on what works. Reject what doesn't.
3. Play by the rules.
4. Act as skillfully as you can in each situation -- not the situation you wish you were in, not the one that is fair, not the one that is more comfortable.
5. Let go of willfulness. It will only hurt you.

Overall do what you know works -- don't focus on "what's fair," wrong or right.
 
G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
1,306
Note, you can use "Describe" techniques to offset judgment, or test whether you are being judgmental or not. If you attribute emotions to what you are seeing, and not just the facts, then you are being judgmental.
 
G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
1,306
Better still, you can rewire your brain to start thinking in the way suggested above. Our brains are constantly changing until we die. You are not stuck with the way you are if you hate it.
 
daffy

daffy

Well-known member
Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
6,424
Location
hiding behind the sofa
Thank you for that GI. Hopefully you’ll keep on posting what happens at future meetings. My daughters done 6 months of DBT and it’s been very successful but she hasn’t really told me much about it and this explains a lot of why her thinking has changed.
 
Lunus

Lunus

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
975
Location
Norfolk
Better still, you can rewire your brain to start thinking in the way suggested above. Our brains are constantly changing until we die. You are not stuck with the way you are if you hate it.
Thanks for your posts. Some say the wise mind (intuition) can be found in the stomach. 🤗
 
ScaredCat

ScaredCat

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
8,340
Location
Another planet
Thankyou for this. I have done dbt, finished last year but is good to read and learn from other people's experience of it
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

Well-known member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
10,025
Location
England
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences
 
RockSolid

RockSolid

Active member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
43
Location
US
Whoever created DBT stole a few of the basics of Buddhism and slapped fancy new names on them. The Wise Mind is stolen from Jungian Anima and Animus and breathing techniques have nothing to do with it.
 
S

so sad

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
117
I'm just coming to the end of my DBT and although I'm not where I thought I would be/should be, I can accept that its been great. The skills work if you practice them regularly. I think Marsha Linehan who created it, did a brilliant job of pulling together a whole range of skills that are good for someone with BPD. She herself suffered with BPD and built up a system to help those with it. Good luck GI with it
Mx
 
G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
1,306
Will write more tomorrow about this week’s class, but think I am going to let my classmates know about this forum so expect some new visitors soon.
 
G

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
1,306
Finally the good stuff!

Emotional Regulation

This fits into Dewey's hypothesis that as children, we were never taught coping skills to regulate our emotions. As adults with BPD we now face having to learn these basic skills, and to reduce and remove unhealthy coping skills that we have always turned to in times of stress.

You need to understand why emotions are important first though.

1. They motivate us and organize us for action: strong emotions can help overcome obstacles.
2. They communicate to and influence others: it may be that poor coping skills were rewarded in some way, so we return to them continually.
3. They communicate to ourselves when something is wrong: we must be careful not to use emotional reasoning -- I feel this, so it MUST be true. When in doubt, step back and use "describe and observe" to give you just the facts and not the influence of emotions.


What makes it hard to regulate emotions

1. Biological factors: PMS, genetic makeup.
2. Lack of skill: we were never taught how to do this properly.
3. Reinforcement of emotional behaviour: we learned that acting emotionally rewarded us -- typically in placation.
4. Moodiness: we have allowed our moods to control us and it's too much effort to try to control our moods.
5. Emotional overload: Being in a constant state of crisis, where it's hard to focus or figure out what to do. You can diffuse this by using distraction techniques, like "describe or observe".
6. Emotional myths: Belief that emotions make you bad or weak; conversely, believing that strong emotions are part of who you are and there's nothing you can do about it.

Some common myths about emotions

1. There's a right way to feel in every situation.
2. Letting others know that I'm feeling bad is a sign of weakness.
3. Creativity requires intense, often out of control emotions.
4. Emotions can just happen for no reason.
5. Being emotional means being out of control.
 
Lunus

Lunus

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
975
Location
Norfolk
Finally the good stuff!

Emotional Regulation

This fits into Dewey's hypothesis that as children, we were never taught coping skills to regulate our emotions. As adults with BPD we now face having to learn these basic skills, and to reduce and remove unhealthy coping skills that we have always turned to in times of stress.

You need to understand why emotions are important first though.

1. They motivate us and organize us for action: strong emotions can help overcome obstacles.
2. They communicate to and influence others: it may be that poor coping skills were rewarded in some way, so we return to them continually.
3. They communicate to ourselves when something is wrong: we must be careful not to use emotional reasoning -- I feel this, so it MUST be true. When in doubt, step back and use "describe and observe" to give you just the facts and not the influence of emotions.


What makes it hard to regulate emotions

1. Biological factors: PMS, genetic makeup.
2. Lack of skill: we were never taught how to do this properly.
3. Reinforcement of emotional behaviour: we learned that acting emotionally rewarded us -- typically in placation.
4. Moodiness: we have allowed our moods to control us and it's too much effort to try to control our moods.
5. Emotional overload: Being in a constant state of crisis, where it's hard to focus or figure out what to do. You can diffuse this by using distraction techniques, like "describe or observe".
6. Emotional myths: Belief that emotions make you bad or weak; conversely, believing that strong emotions are part of who you are and there's nothing you can do about it.

Some common myths about emotions

1. There's a right way to feel in every situation.
2. Letting others know that I'm feeling bad is a sign of weakness.
3. Creativity requires intense, often out of control emotions.
4. Emotions can just happen for no reason.
5. Being emotional means being out of control.
That is excellent, thank you. Having suppressed emotions for so long recognising and regulating them is definitely the hardest thing to do.
 
Top