The Four Modules of DBT
Saturday, January 23, 2010
(to understand what in tarnation I am discussing here please see several blogs back where I begin discussing DBT.)
So I jumped right into the Emotional Regulation of DBT. I would like however to give you an idea of the four modules that DBT is based on so when I mention them you will know what they are... emotional regulation being one of them. So here they are... (btw I am not a HUGE fan of wikipedia bc it is not a professional resource, but i liked the way they explained these 4 areas of DBT. Simple and fairly easy to understand and so the following is an excerpt from wikipedia on DBT)
The four modules
Mindfulness is one of the core concepts behind all elements of DBT. Mindfulness is the capacity to pay attention, nonjudgmentally, to the present moment. Mindfulness is all about living in the moment, experiencing one's emotions and senses fully, yet with perspective. It is considered a foundation for the other skills taught in DBT, because it helps individuals accept and tolerate the powerful emotions they may feel when challenging their habits or exposing themselves to upsetting situations. The concept of mindfulness and the meditative exercises used to teach it are derived from traditional Buddhist practice, though the version taught in DBT does not involve any religious or metaphysical concepts.
Interpersonal response patterns taught in DBT skills training are very similar to those taught in many assertiveness and interpersonal problem-solving classes. They include effective strategies for asking for what one needs, saying no, and coping with interpersonal conflict.
Individuals with borderline personality disorder frequently possess good interpersonal skills in a general sense. The problems arise in the application of these skills to specific situations. An individual may be able to describe effective behavioral sequences when discussing another person encountering a problematic situation, but may be completely incapable of generating or carrying out a similar behavioral sequence when analyzing his or her own situation.
The interpersonal effectiveness module focuses on situations where the objective is to change something (e.g., requesting that someone do something) or to resist changes someone else is trying to make (e.g., saying no). The skills taught are intended to maximize the chances that a person’s goals in a specific situation will be met, while at the same time not damaging either the relationship or the person’s self-respect.
Individuals with borderline personality disorder and suicidal individuals are frequently emotionally intense and labile. They can be angry, intensely frustrated, depressed, or anxious. This suggests that these clients might benefit from help in learning to regulate their emotions. Dialectical behavior therapy skills for emotion regulation include:
Identifying and labeling emotions
Identifying obstacles to changing emotions
Reducing vulnerability to emotion mind
Increasing positive emotional events
Increasing mindfulness to current emotions
Taking opposite action
Applying distress tolerance techniques
Many current approaches to mental health treatment focus on changing distressing events and circumstances. They have paid little attention to accepting, finding meaning for, and tolerating distress. This task has generally been tackled by psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, gestalt, or narrative therapies, along with religious and spiritual communities and leaders. Dialectical behavior therapy emphasizes learning to bear pain skillfully.
Distress tolerance skills constitute a natural development from mindfulness skills. They have to do with the ability to accept, in a non-evaluative and nonjudgmental fashion, both oneself and the current situation. Although this is a nonjudgmental stance, this does not mean that it is one of approval or resignation. The goal is to become capable of calmly recognizing negative situations and their impact, rather than becoming overwhelmed or hiding from them. This allows individuals to make wise decisions about whether and how to take action, rather than falling into the intense, desperate, and often destructive emotional reactions that are part of borderline personality disorder.
Skills for acceptance include radical acceptance, turning the mind toward acceptance, and distinguishing between "willingness" (acting skillfully, from a realistic understanding of the present situation) and "willfulness" (trying to impose one's will regardless of reality). Participants also learn four crisis survival skills, to help deal with immediate emotional responses that may seem overwhelming: distracting oneself, self-soothing, improving the moment, and thinking of pros and cons.