Going in to 2020 we have a new cycle of Talks at 1. These are talks held at The Therapy Clinic over lunchtimes where practitioners are able to come together, share knowledge and learn about different therapeutic models from each other.
“The third instalment of our introduction to DBT began with us grounding ourselves with the use of mindfulness. Having never been asked to focus on the space between our eyes, the space between our ears, the feeling of the soles of our feet, the feeling of breath behind our eyes, it was a fascinating albeit brief experience. For the majority of us it worked to start to slow/refocus our thoughts and begin to shut out the noise in our heads that plagues us all. This is one of the valuable tools of Distress Tolerance that make up the third module in the DBT programme, and that everyone could surely benefit from.
We learnt that the core thinking behind distress tolerance is the ability to accept reality, and to tolerate it, which is very different to trying to change it. If able to do this, we’re much better able to ‘survive’ a crisis. It’s the power of being able to tolerate the emotions that come up, without feeling totally flooded or overwhelmed, being able to keep a sense of ‘wise self’ which requires a degree of both cognitive self and emotional self.
The ways to do this include STOP (Stop, Take a step back, Observe, Proceed mindfully), TIP skills to change body chemistry (splashing face with cold water, intense exercise, paced breathing, paired muscle relaxation), Improving the moment (with imagery, with meaning, with prayer, with relaxing actions, with encouragement) and perhaps the most important skill of all: Radical Acceptance.
Radical Acceptance is not to be confused with approving of reality, it’s simply an acknowledgement of reality, not fighting (and intensify our emotional reaction, causing more suffering), but accepting the pain in our lives.Once we do this we can better start to find a way out of it. The key seems to be in the word radical – it really is far-reaching and fundamental.
We look forward to the next in this series of DBT introductory talks to further equip ourselves with the knowledge of this immensely effective toolkit.”