Week four of DBT and we’re back in the new building. This week has been a horrible one for me but using the skills we’ve gone through so far and the skills I have from previous therapies has actually been really helpful. I’m going with the view that my week hasn’t been great but it’s not horrendous either.
*Please remember not all groups are run the same way and your experiences may be different to mine. There is no right or wrong as everyone is different, this is just meant as a little insight into the topic for those who are interested.
This week’s topic was continuing the distress tolerance skills from last week focussing mainly on crisis skills this week. The skill focussed on was TIPP:
T – Tip the temperature of your face, pressure points or body with cold water or air to help calm down fast.
I – Intense exercise. Engage in short bouts of intense exercise (running on the spot, sit- ups etc.) to calm down your body when it’s revved up by intense emotions.
P – Paced Breathing. Slow your breathing to match a predetermined pace to help calm yourself down. I use an app called paced breathing.
P – Paired Muscle Relaxation. This helps you calm down by pairing muscle relaxation with breathing out. I find this particularly helpful it racing thoughts or anxiety is me awake. Again I have an app I use called Aware which offers guided meditations and body scans.
We discussed various ideas for practicing these how skills and how effective they have been for other people in the group. We were also given handouts, as usual, to take away and complete as homework detailing when we used the skills and how much it helped to calm us. Personally I only really use the temperature and paced breathing skills but I know they work really well for me.
I was in a bit of a funny place before going to this session and probably didn’t engage as much as I should have done. I found some of the conversation and responses very condescending which made me really angry. I managed to control my impulsiveness in that respect but did end up not saying much at all as a result because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. Hopefully next week I’ll be in a bit of a better place.
The skills are ones I already had in place which is good because they are already integrated into my life but I am getting a little bored of going over skills I already have. I am considering dropping out and pursuing the therapy on my own at my own pace with the handout and worksheets book but using wise mind I also know it’s probably not the best idea. I’m just going to curb that thought for now and see how I get on.
I’ll let you know how I get on next week – wish me luck.