Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It is an approach that, historically, has been used by many clinicians to help people relax, focus, and center themselves so they can manage their emotions and behaviors and have healthy relationships. Over the years, it has gained more and more attention for its effectiveness and parents are learning to incorporate these techniques into their own lives and help their children do the same.  

However, DBT has many components to it and to really “master” it, one must spend a great deal of time learning, practicing and basically eating/sleeping/breathing it.  So, I thought I would give you the "cliff notes" and some quick and easy ways you can help yourself and your child incorporate it into everyday life. 

Today I will share the first skill: Mindfulness.  

Mindfulness is a way to “step back” and observe, describe and participate in one's surroundings. To practice the skill of mindfulness, one must be fully present in the moment, pay attention to what they are doing, have intention, without any judgement towards themselves.  

Some examples of mindfulness exercises can include:
  • Putting scented lotion on your hands (pay attention to how it feels, smells, etc.)
  • Focusing on the flame of a candle
  • Focusing on 3 senses (what do I hear, see and feel at this very moment?)
  • Mindful breathing (focusing on your breath, in and out)
  • Quietly observing an item in your hand (what does it feel like, what are the colors, how does the weight in your hand feel, the texture, etc.)

These can be done anywhere and completely independently.  So set 5 minutes aside and give one a try!

Stay tuned for more DBT techniques for everyday living!

Posted by Shawna Paplaski, LCPC