Archives for Dialectical Behavior Therapy
As a child, you learned the labels for what you were feeling from your caregivers. Is that tightness in your throat fear or excitement? Is the tension in our muscles anger or fear? Those around you gave you labels for what you were experiencing in your body with statements like, "You're such a ball of nerves today," "Stop crying, you're just mad you didn't get your way," or "I'm guessing you're pretty mad at your mom."
In DBT™, you learn about three states of mind: Emotion mind, rational mind, and wise mind. Living your life in either emotion mind or rational mind is not effective. In emotion mind, your emotions are in control. They overwhelm you. To make good decisions,...
Reinforcement is a term used in operant conditioning to refer to anything that increases the likelihood that a response will occur. If every time you stay home on Sunday night your child performs better on the tests on Monday, and you are more likely to stay home because of that, then your child performing well on Monday tests reinforces your staying home the night before. When other people reinforce you for being with them, you want to socialize more. There are many reinforcers for behavior. Among the naturally occurring reinforcers, social reinforcement is one of the most commonly occurring. Social reinforcers come from other people and include smiles, hugs, praise and attention. Social reinforcers are powerful. Acceptance and approval of others means you are part of the group/family and communicate that you are a lovable person.
Imagine that your daughter is late coming home. It's 3 AM and she hasn't called. The roads are wet--it's pouring rain. You are terrified. The minute she finally walks in the door, you're angry. You scream about how inconsiderate and irresponsible she is. Then she's back out the door, yelling that she hates you. You sit with your head in your hands. So many times you've been through this and promised yourself you'd handle it differently. But you can't just let her walk all over you, right?
If we are paying attention to our lives, we'll recognize those defining moments. The challenge for so many of us is that we are so deep into daily distractions and 'being busy, busy' that we miss out on those moments and opportunities that - if jumped on - would get our careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow. Robin S. Sharma I’ve been thinking about priorities and demands. That’s an interpersonal skill in DBT. Priorities are what you want, what’s important to you. Demands come from other people, what they want you to do. The idea is to have a balance that helps you live your life effectively. So how does this actually apply to your life?
What does it really mean to have happiness from within? Doesn't happiness come from laughing with friends, having a family you love and enjoying your work? Certainly there are many ways that you can find happiness outside yourself. But lasting, enduring happiness comes from within and isn't so affected by whether you lose your job or a friend moves half way around the world. You can develop happiness from within in many ways. Here are a few ideas that make sense to me.
Emotionally Sensitive People are capable of great joy. You are the person who lights up the room and makes any get-together a memorable event. Your sensitivity also means that your capacity for joy can be lost, buried under depression or fear. Here's some ideas for how to recover your ability to live fully with all the joy and love you naturally have. 1. Be mindful of your fears. Are you making decisions based on fear? Maybe you fear not being good enough, being rejected or being hurt. Those fears can keep you isolated and alone. So think about it. Really focus in a purposeful, nonjudgmental way on the decisions you are making. Do you truly want to avoid life rather than experience difficult emotions? In ten years from now do you want to look back and say, "I'm so glad I isolated and didn't take any chances? " You could be dancing, planting community gardens, listening to music or playing music, singing, taking your grandchildren to the park and other pleasurable activities. You risk people not approving, talking negatively, and saying hurtful statements. You risk feeling sad and hurt for a time. Be mindful of what you really want for your life, not just about what you fear. Pay attention, on purpose to what is your heart's desire, not your fear. If you are making decisions based on fear, then decide if you want to change that.
Making decisions in emotion mind often has very difficult consequences. Being in emotion mind means more than experiencing strong emotions, it means your emotions are controlling your thinking and actions. Demanding in anger a divorce (that you don't really want), quitting a job you need when upset and you don't have another one, and walking out on your best friend who you still care about are all examples of acting on your emotions in ways that hurt you.
Creating interesting stories is a time-honored skill and entertainment for many. A good storyteller can keep the attention of small children as well as antsy, busy businessmen. Unfortunately, your mind is also a great storyteller. Sometimes you may not realize what is truth and what is fiction created by your mind. Your mind is always creating explanations and possibilities about the world you live in. It will interpret and make assumptions in creating its stories, about the past and the future as well as the present. It rattles on and on and is rarely even close to quiet. Your mind may have a favorite genre--suspense, drama or horror. It may also have favorite themes such as victims, persecutors or helplessness. The mind's stories are about how you see the world.