Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DBT Dialectical Behavior Therapy Part 3


DBT Dialectical Behavior Therapy Part 3: Emotion Regulation

Emotion regulation is another skill used in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).  In a nut shell, emotion regulation is how you manage unwanted or “unjustified” emotions. As a parent, when you learn to manage your own emotions, you are not only more available to hold your children's feelings, but you model good coping skills to your children.  Read more on how to do this...

First, you must be able to IDENTIFY the emotions you are currently feeling. Is it guilt, sadness, anger, frustration, etc.?

Second, try to UNDERSTAND the emotions. Ask yourself,
"Is my emotional reaction based off of truth and fact?"
"What is really getting me worked up?"
"What is underneath all of this?"

Third, think about if you are having "compassion" for your own emotions instead of “judging” yourself for feeling the way you do. It is important to understand and love your emotions. This is not an easy skill to master, as most humans, especially parents, have the tendency to be very judgmental of themselves and rarely welcome those emotions with open arms. Emotions are what makes us human; they help us learn, grow, and connect with others. Unmanaged emotions, especially more negative ones, can leave parents feeling overwhelmed, guilty and vulnerable, all of which can get in the way of relating well with your children.

Here are some simple strategies and acronyms for practicing Emotion Regulation:

ABC Skills-reducing vulnerability to negative emotions before these emotions arise

A-Accumulate positive emotions and experiences (work at feeling good however you can - take time for yourself, be with your friends, laugh and smile)
B-Build a sense of personal mastery (what am I good at?!)
C-Cope ahead of time (prepare in advance by thinking about difficult situations you know are ahead)

PLEASE Skills-looking after your physical body as well as your mind

P-Physical illness (treat it!)
L-“Lather, rinse, repeat” (personal hygiene)
E-Eat Balanced diet
A-Avoid mood altering substances
S-Sleep hygiene

Good parent mental health leads to stronger parent-child relationships and kids that learn emotional self care.

Post by Shawna Paplaski, LCPC