DBT part 2

Today was all about understanding the dialectics or doing both the acceptance and change of the client’s target (problem) behavior. Unlike CBT, which is focused on change purely, DBT focuses on finding a solution acceptable to both client and therapist that includes both approaches of solving the target behavior called the synthesis.

Then we dived into behavior therapy, specifically operant and classic conditioning. We did understand the positive & negative reinforcement and punishment concepts.

Following this, we did a case specific behavior chain analysis that is essentially a functional analysis of identifying the target behavior, recognizing the precipitating event or the antecedent in general behavior therapy language, in light of that day’s specific vulnerability factors for that client like lack of sleep or hunger etc. It is to be noted that, when identifying the precipitating event, we also want to know what thought & emotion led the client to do the target behavior- the culminating F it moment! These are the key controlling variables we want to track across chain analyses of various events of such critical nature over time. These will show a pattern, that we can then use to reinforce relevant skills that were used during such crises events , as identified as controlling variables. This is a good way to problem solve, is what I understand.

Well that’s it from me on DBT learnings so far ! Enjoy!

Cheers,

Shrivi

DBT part 1

This day has been filled with understanding mindfulness in light of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). I understood the difference between reasonable mind, emotional mind (extremes) and the wise mind that sits at the intersection of these extremes. Wise mind as I understand is to come from a deep sense of knowing the truth! It’s definitely a Zen acceptance concept adapted well in therapy.

I really appreciated the importance given to self-validation to be placed in high priority above other validation strategies used in DBT.

Tomorrow we look at behavior therapy side of things along with details on chain analysis!

See you tomorrow!

Cheers,

Shrivi

Sitting with one’s own emotions

Sitting with my own emotions has been the hardest during recovery. Not knowing the reason behind certain emotions have always been a trigger of their own. But my own words to encourage myself to stay with them helps in a way to take a step back, acknowledge the presence of strong emotions currently, understand that these are present and finally accept them as they are. Acceptance is key in mindfulness. Moreover, self acceptance is crucial. If there is no self-acceptance, there is this new void created expecting it to be possibly filled by others. This becomes a never ending cycle after a few personal storms of our strong emotions, and can possibly lead to depression.

Going along, I realized sitting with my emotions, even while am doing other day to day activities, can be possible on a background thread, being the multitasking individuals that we all are now. It is much different than brewing on “worries”. It is differentiated by focusing on the emotion itself and appreciating its presence. Slowly we may observe that there is an unwinding in ourself, after identifying a triggering event. After this I try to draw a parallel to possible past experiences that come close to this triggering event that caused the strong emotion within. If there are past experiences that come close to this triggering event, then we struck gold! How did we handle that? How did we feel emotionally then? How did we feel physically then? What bodily reactions happened? A quick body scan meditation would help. Taking in these, one step at a time was crucial for me, as steps can be mixed up, especially when multitasking…There are plethora of options on how to move forward after this step of body scan, like personal journaling, one’s usual coping skills, exercise and meditation, and good therapy.

Hope you can sit with this process.

Have a wonderful day ahead!

Best,

Shrivi