Trouble Shooting Our Emotions

Can you see trouble shooting our use of emotion regulation skills as a scientific experiment?

  1. Ask- am I biologically vulnerable? Do I have a physical illness or distress? am I out of balance in sleep, use of drugs or exercise?
  2. Review what you have tried. Have you used skills? Did you follow the instructions?
  3. What is the purpose of your emotion? Is it communicating an important message or influencing others? Is it motivating you to act? Does it validate your beliefs?
  4. Are you putting the time and effort into the skills?
  5. Are you too upset to use complicated skills? Do you need to focus on mindfulness or other distress tolerance skills?
  6. Check your thoughts. Are you judging your emotions- “I shouldn’t feel this way” “There is a right way to feel.” Is a belief keeping you stuck? “I am my emotion.” “I am an angry (sad, anxious etc.) person.”

Try viewing your skill use and experience of emotion as a scientific experiment. Notice how different use of skill impacts your experience of emotion- what makes emotions less intense? What shortens the duration of painful emotions? What brings happiness, joy and other positive emotions?

DBT for People with Intellectual Disabilities: An Expert Interview with Marvin Lew, PhD.

intellectual disabilities and DBT recently had the opportunity to ask Dr. Marvin Lew, psychologist, professor and author of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adults who have Intellectual Disability a chapter in Psychotherapy for Individuals with Intellectual Disability some questions about using Dialectical Behavior Therapy strategies with people who have intellectual disabilities.  I’m happy to share with you, today, his experience.

Christy: You worked with people with intellectual disabilities for a number of years.  What problems did you see that made you consider dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for this group?

Marvin: This is true. I worked with people who have intellectual disabilities (ID) for fifteen years. I supervised many clinicians during that time and there was often a feeling that some individuals had so many complications in their lives that they may never get better. Sometimes it was felt that 10% of our case-load required 90% of our time.

Such individuals were challenges to their families, clinicians, and care providers. They had frequent difficulties with other people, had more than their share of community struggles such as loss of jobs, loss of housing, etc… and were often the genesis of burnout symptoms among their care providers. I’m sure I was not the only clinical supervisor who cringed at the sight of difficult to serve clients who had both ID and emotion regulation problems. Continue reading “DBT for People with Intellectual Disabilities: An Expert Interview with Marvin Lew, PhD.” »

DBT: an Overview

An overview of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)Do you struggle with explosive anger, self-destructive and impulsive behaviors, substance abuse, and other emotional problems, such as depression and anxiety?

Do emotional and behavioral problems consistently interfere with your life?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive- behavioral therapy for people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as people who have emotion regulation problems and impulse control problems.  Continue reading “DBT: an Overview” »