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 DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY
The Skills and Treatment of DBT AND Facilities Offering DBT and BPD Treatment

"DBT is a life enhancement program, not a suicide prevention program."  ~ Marsha Linehan, PhD.
Topics on this Page

DBT Day Treatment    
11-21-13
N.A.M.I.'s Mobile Community Education     
2-18-12
More about DBT and Dr. Linehan   
7-16-11
DBT Treatment Overview  
3-18-11
In-Depth Discussion of DBT Skills:  
     (Radical Acceptance is discussed here, under Emotion Regulation)
     Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation
       
Dual-Disorders Treatment Centers    (Addictions & BPD)  
Treatment Centers in Indiana   8
-13-12
Treatment Centers in other States (not Indiana)  
 8-30-12
DBT-Trained Therapists  there still is a deficit in this area
Is DBT Enough?


NAMI Mobile offers free courses
; more Mobile news from Greta Sharp
Published: Friday, February 17, 2012, 2:53 PM
By Press-Register Correspondent Press-Register

MOBILE, Alabama — NAMI Mobile's February Community Education Program is "Borderline Personality Disorder" with Debbie Kingrea, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder. The presentation is Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at Springhill Baptist Church Activity Center, 11 S. McGregor Ave. It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For details, visit www.nami mobile.org.

NAMI Mobile also offers two free support groups. The Family Support Group meeting is designed to offer support and education to those living and coping with a mentally ill family member. Contact Diane Kent at 251-591-8021 or krusader@juno.com for more details.
NAMI Connections is a recovery support group for adults with mental illness, regardless of diagnosis. The 90-minute weekly meetings are led by trained individuals who are also in recovery. Meetings are Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church, 1501 Dauphin St., and Friday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Drug Education Council Building at 3000 Television Ave. For details on classes and support groups, call the NAMI office at 251-461-3450. Volunteers are available Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Email Greta Sharp at gretasharp@bellsouth.net. For more Mobile events, including club meetings, view the BayWatch calendar at www.al.com.


An In-Depth Discussion of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills  

DBT looks at emotions as a full-system response, that is made of biological action tendencies and urges, hormones, changes in brain chemistry. From there we look at emotion as making people ready for action, they motivate us to do things.   Emotion is seen as having several important functions such as giving you information and communicating with others. Emotions are problematic for persons who have a biological thermostat that is at a higher set point, so they experience their emotions much more strongly and quickly than others.  Without certain skills emotions can take over, rather than serve the person that feels them.   
    by S. Spradlin

DBT Skills -

1. Mindfulness

2. Interpersonal Effectiveness
3. Emotion Regulation
4. Distress Tolerance


  The above are the skills as devised by Marsha Linehan in 1993 at the University of Washington, Seattle, for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. These 4 points look very small in comparison to some of the other listed presented on this site.  However, each of these skills is a tall order, and is only mastered after hours of practice.  This is a small price to pay for something that will improve the quality of your relationships, and possibly save a Borderline's life.   The challenge of each skill is that they all require the individual to put in place and master brand-new behaviors, never successfully attempted by the Borderline patient earlier in their lives. 

    The discussion under each is detailed, but conclusively delineates what each of the skills entails.  DBT cannot be learned from a book, or online. Being taught and adopting the skills can only be accomplished in a classroom setting to achieve maximum effectiveness.  This is why it is of utmost importance to locate a DBT-certified therapist with whom the Borderline needs to enter into treatment.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  I know.  I have been there.  Learning these skills can be difficult, and sometimes seem even boring or repetitive, but they can and will save a Borderline's life.  If you decide they will not work for you (if you are Borderline), or you are not willing to put forth the effort,  your misery will be eventually refunded to you.

 

 

DBT Treatment Overview
Learning Center - DBT Therapy Training   from TrueRecovery.org

Dialectic Behavior Therapy Overview
If you want to stop a compulsive behavior you've come to the right place. I believe there is a tragic flaw in most recovery programs today, which is why the vast majority (92% by some studies) can not stay "sober" for a full year. Why do the vast majority fail in their attempts to recover? We believe the answer is simple: they're trying to fix the wrong thing. It's very true that the behavior is problematic, even dangerous. It affects us and the people around us deeply. But, in our view, they are a symptom of something else. Focusing on the thing that's most tempting to us is not only a diversion from the underlying issues, but can also keep that temptation alive in our mind. Find out the skills to better manage your emotional states, and you won't feel compelled to do whatever it is you want to stop doing.

Today's more modern approaches including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) have been used, quite successfully, to treat personality disorders previously believed to be incurable. Recently, many in the psychology field have been applying this treatment to a wide range of psychological issues with great success. Those include depression, anxiety, substance abuse and various compulsive disorders. While I'm not a professional in the field, I have studied CBT and DBT to resolve several issues in my life including a devastating compulsive gambling habit. I don't consider myself "cured" yet, but do know it's in my future. This site is dedicated to educating others, like me, who are truly dedicated to ridding ourselves of these damaging behaviors.

There are a number of reasons why we do these self-destructive things over and over again, even knowing how bad it is. Why do we do it to ourselves? Because there are things in our lives we simply can't, or don't yet understand how to deal with. We may have even resigned ourselves to the fact that we'll never be able to resolve them. For each of us it's something different. It may be an abusive childhood or relationship, it may have been a traumatic event like war or rape, or quite possibly it's just dissatisfaction with the life we are living, such as an unhappy marriage, unachieved dreams or a chronic depression.

How did we get hooked? Many of the behaviors began as something social... a feel-good thing. For example we begin to do things like gambling, shopping, eating, taking drugs or drinking alcohol often for fun and enjoyment. We associate great times and good feelings with the behavior. When we're feeling down and can't cope, we desperately want to feel good again so we reach out and cope with the nearest feel-good behavior. They are an escape and our problems don't exist while we're doing them. We make an unconscious choice: face the painful reality of life, or do this fun thing.

At some point, our lives and the stressors become a burden to us. The more we avoid the issues, the bigger they grow. They don't go away, they just get worse and eventually snowball out of control. The worse they get, the more we need to feel good, so we reach more and more for those things. It's not enough to gamble a hundred or so, we need to gamble with thousands. A couple of beers with friends isn't enough, we drink all night even alone. Eventually, these behaviors become so ingrained, we just go on autopilot, we just do it.

We might hit rock-bottom or just see it ahead of us and want to fix it. We simply just don't know how to go about it. Studies show that, in any given year, roughly 5% of us are able to stop on our own, with no therapy, no programs, nothing but a personal decision and commitment. My father was one of those people. He not only kicked a chronic drinking problem but also kicked a three pack a day smoking habit cold turkey. Most of us, however, try to stop on our own but fall flat on our faces. The vast majority of us find a church group or twelve-step program. There, we find others in the same boat. People we can share our experiences with and support. It's nice to know we're not alone and that there's help. In my opinion, the issue with those types of organizations is that they focus on the behavior and managing urges, rather than learning how to get rid of the urges once and for all. As I stated above, talking about our addiction or our compulsion can keep those thoughts alive in our mind and at times even act as a temptation.

I've heard people talk about gambling, alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders and many others as if they were incurable diseases which we must constantly work to suppress. In my view, and the view of many, this can serve as a justification for "falling off the wagon". Hey, I can't help the fact that I have this disease, I wish it wasn't there but it is. It's not a disease, it is quite curable, but only if we learn how to effectively manage our own emotions and distress.

Think of your specific behavior as a leak in your ceiling. Water is dripping down on the floor and your belongings. Everyone who gets close enough, can see the drip and knows the water is going to cause damage to your floor, furniture and other belongings. So what do we do? Clearly, we need to stop the water from messing up our stuff. We put a pot under the drip to catch the water. That works for a while, but soon the pot fills up and begins to overflow. So, we change the pot. That's what most recovery methods, do.

Some recovery methods go a little further. Some try and help us patch the ceiling and paint over the water stain. The water does stop for a while, but eventually the leak seeps through the patch and begins to drip again. We learn new, better and quicker methods of changing the pot, without spilling. We learn how to patch the celling quicker and better, stopping the drip for a little longer. The water builds up and sooner or later, it is once again dripping on our floor and belongings.

So, what's the solution? The real solution is to learn how to find the source of the water. Is it a hole in the roof, a broken pipe in the ceiling, or something else? Then, we must learn the skills and get the tools needed to fix the leak. It's not really that important to know what caused the damage...only that the damage exists, how to find it and how to fix it. There are no magic pills or quick fixes to remedy issues that have taken us many years to develop. There are, however, very effective methods of learning those skills to fix whatever leaks might spring in your life. Once we've learned this, and are able to ingrain them in our minds, we can truly consider ourselves cured.

•Protect us -- Before we can really get on top of things, we need to be safe. That means, we need to do whatever is necessary to stop the dangerous behavior. If we're gambling, we have to find whatever means we can to stop gambling.... at least long enough to start rebuilding.

•Learn new skills -- In today's world there are tons of tools, methods and approaches to handle life better, more effectively. This site focuses on a Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT provides four key skill sets, with the tools necessary to use them. Those are: Mindfulness, the ability to see things as they are without being clouded by our assumptions and snap judgments. Distress Tolerance, the skills necessary to handle stress or triggers without resorting to self-destructive behavior. Emotion Regulation, the ability to keep your emotional state steady and manageable, this can often reduce or even eliminate hitting those distressing times. Finally, Interpersonal Effectiveness, which provides us the skills and tools necessary to build strong, positive relationships and improve the ones we have now.

•Practice until it's ingrained -- We know, from our own behavior, how ingrained habits can become. How many times have you heard substance abusers say they hate the drugs they use? We may hate our own habits, and know deep down that they're bad for us, but we've been doing them so long that they're ingrained. Once we learn the new life skills, we need to get past that awkward, unnatural phase, until we use them without thinking. We did it with the behavior we're trying to fix, we can do it with productive, positive behavior as well.

 

The following facilities in Indiana have DBT-trained therapists and DBT treatments offered.  Should there be more, they were not listed on the Behavioral Tech website.   Below the Indiana listings are listings for other states.      (8-7-09)


East Chicago Tri-City CMHC
3903 Indianapolis Blvd., East Chicago, IN 46312   
Ph: (219) 392-3307   Fax: (219) 392-6998

Elkart  Oaklawn CMHC 2600 Oakland Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517
Ph : (219) 533-1234 ext. 260

Ft. Wayne  MHC Park Center, Inc.
909 E. State Blvd. Ft. Wayne, IN 46805
Ph: (260) 481-2700    Fax: (260) 481-2731

Ft. Wayne  Park Center, Inc.
909 E. State St,. Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Ph: (219) 481-2700

Indianapolis 
Gallahue
5470 E. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46218
Ph: (317) 355-5009

Indianapolis / Carmel / Noblesville   Aspire of Indiana
(13 locations in all;  3 of them listed below.  Go to website above)
697 Pro-Med Lane, Carmel, In  46032
317-574-0055 

2506 Willowbrook Pkwy # 300
Indianapolis, IN 46205
317-257-3903   Jo Ann Ash

17840 Cumberland Rd.
Noblesville, IN  46060
317-587-0546  Trusa Grosso


Indianapolis   Christian Theological Seminary, Pat Scott, DBT-trained

Indianapolis Psych Adult & Child Mental Health
8320 Madison Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46227-6090
Ph: (317) 822-5122     Fax: (317) 888-8642

Kendallville  Northeastern Center, Inc.
PO Box 817 Kendallville, IN 46755
Ph: (219) 925-5133

Kokomo  INDIANA Behavioral Health Howard Commun. Hospital
3500 S. Lafountain St. Kokomo, IN 46904
Ph: (765) 453-8592     Fax: (765) 453-8020

Kouts    Midwest Center for Youth and Families
1012 W. Indiana Street

Kouts, IN  46347  Main  (219) 766-2999  Intake: 219-766-0007

Lawrenceburg CMHC Inc., CSS Division
285 Bielby Rd. Lawrenceburg, IN 47025  
Ph: (813) 532-3453     Fax: (812) 537-5532
Email: rachel.roszell@cmhcinc.org  www.cmhcinc.org
Program(s):Inpatient/Residential,Partial Hospitalization
Population(s):Adult, Substance Use Disorders


Lawrenceburg 
Community Mental Health Center Inc.,
Drug Court
427 Eads Parkway Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
Ph: (812) 537-7375   Fax: (812) 537-5271
Email: njanszen@cmhcinc.org      www.cmhcinc.org
Program(s): Outpatient Population(s):Adult, Substance Use Disorders

Marion  Grant Blackford Mental Health 206 W. 8th St. Marion, IN 46953

Valparaiso, IN   South Shore Academy
2301 Cumberland Drive
Valparaiso, IN  46383   888-629-3471

Warsaw   Otis R. Bowen Center 850 N. Harrison Warsaw, IN 46580  Ph: 574-267-7169

More Indiana Mental Health Providers  (Indiana FSSA-Family & Social Services Admin)



TREATMENT CENTERS  in states other than Indiana      8-30-12

                   CA    "Bridges to Recovery"   

Bridges to Recovery Now Offers Inpatient Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Bridges to Recovery has been treating mental health disorders since 2003 and now in 2012 it offers several treatment centers for those who are looking.

Bridges To Recovery
An effective alternative to a hospital environment for patients suffering from many types of mental health disorders including bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety obsessive compulsive disorders, grief support and other issues. Pacific Palisades, CA (PRWEB) May 19, 2012

Bridges to Recovery is a residential treatment center in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Bel Air, California. The treatment center offers an effective alternative to a hospital environment for patients suffering from many types of mental health disorders including bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety obsessive compulsive disorders, grief support and other issues.  Please inquire as to development of Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Programs.

Bridges to Recovery has been treating mental health disorders since 2003 and now in 2012 it offers several treatment centers for those who are looking for bipolar residential treatment in Los Angeles, or for treatment for a host of other mental illnesses. These centers offer licensed adult residential treatment programs, with one-on-one in-depth psychotherapy sessions to help people recover from their illnesses. The first-class treatment centers are like a home away from home with a helpful, friendly environment. Bridges to Recovery offers treatments that help their clients through a difficult time. They aid with the establishment of healthy life routines, all the while building the clients' self esteem. These both aid the client to not only get well, but to stay well long-term. Anyone that is looking for depression treatment centers in California should check out one of the many locations that Bridges to Recovery has. These residential treatment centers can help get you or your loved one the treatment they deserve. If you're looking for an OCD residential treatment center in LA, look no further than Bridges to Recovery. Their licensed, trained staff is kind, professional and understanding. They have an excellent success rate and have been successful treating clients who have not recovered by using other treatment methods. Clients with a dual diagnosis – both mental health and substance abuse – will be treated for the underlying mental health problems that are causing the chemical dependency.

For treatment for bipolar disorder treatment, panic attacks, OCD, mood regulation, Borderline Personality Disorder and other psychiatric disorders visit Bridges to Recovery.com to find a location nearby. Contact them through the website or call 1-877-386-3398. You can either speak with the staff to ask more questions, have them send you more information, or make an appointment to take a tour of one of the first-class facilities. This is an open-door facility that is open 24/7. The doors are never locked to keep patients in. This provides patients with peace of mind. Bridges to Recovery is a private-pay program, meaning they do not accept insurance payments. They will help clients bill their insurance companies by providing invoices and records.


                  
NY    Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center

1st Fl. Macy Villa, New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Westchester Div.
21 Bloomingdale Rd., White Plains, NY 10605      Ph: 888-694-2273
Website:
www.bpdresourcecenter.org 
Email: info@bpdresourcecenter.org

 

The Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center (BPDRC) at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College has been set up specifically to help those impacted by the disorder find the most current and accurate information on the nature of BPD and on sources of available treatment.  They offer a toll-free referral phone line (no referral via email).  Their Resource Center and reading library are open for visitors from 9-5 Monday through Friday.
 


NY   Treatment And Research Advancements Association for Personality Disorders (TARA APD)

23 Green St.

New York, NY 10013

1-888-4-TARA APD or 212-966-6514

Website:  www.tara4bpd.org 

 

TARA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster education and research in the field of personality disorder. TARA offers family workshops and has a database of therapists who treat BPD.
 


 

WA    BehavioralTech

4556 University Way NE, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98105

206-675-8588  Website: www.behavioraltech.com  
Email:
information@behavioraltech.org

 

B-Tech is DBT founder Marsha Linehan’s training and resource organization.  The website has a DBT database searchable by region and state. Requests for local therapist referrals can also be made by email and phone.  Individuals and organizations interested in being trained and implementing DBT should contact BehavioralTech.  Trainings and online courses are available.

 


 

M New England Personality Disorder Assoc.(NEPDA)

McLean Hospital, 115 Mill St. Belmont, MA 02478
617- 855-2680 Website: www.nepda.org   Email: info@nepda.org

 

NEPDA is a non-profit organization based out of McLean Hospital.  Their mission is to support local persons with BPD and their loved ones through providing education and support.  NEPDA offers monthly educational workshops as well as an annual conferences and special events. Their board is composed on family members, consumers and professionals.


 

VA     National Alliance on Mental Illness

2107 Wilson Blvd. suite 300

Arlington, VA 22201-3042

Helpline: 800-950-NAMI

TTD: 703-516-7227

Website: www.nami.org   Email: info@nami.org

 

NAMI is the largest  grassroots organization devoted to advocacy and education for mental illness.   Recently they have expanded their priority populations to include borderline Personality Disorder and their website now has a BPD resource section.  NAMI offers family education programs, though they are not specific to BPD (whereas NEA BPD's are) NAMI's consumer support groups are available in many locations but again, they are for all diagnoses, not specifically BPD.
 


TX   The Meehl House
Brazoria, TX
979-798-7972
Website: 
http://www.meehlfoundation.org
 



FL   Life Skills South Florida
 

 

                    WI   Treatments Centers in Wisconsin
 



 

                                For MORE in other states, click here
                                Another directory of therapists is here

 


Dual-Disorders Treatment Centers  Another type of treatment center addressed BOTH the Addictions and the Borderline Personality Disorder. One is discussed in depth in a website.  Another is offered here.

 
 

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SEE A TRAINED DBT THERAPIST? 
      (Meaning "DBT-Certified")  
 
- from the TARA website www.tara4bpd.org

DBT may be the most hopeful and helpful of any new therapy available for people with BPD. Many people with BPD have problems trusting others, have “failed in treatment” or have been dropped by former therapists. When DBT is not done as designed, the results may not be the same, causing the person with BPD to lose hope and trust and then be reluctant to ever try DBT again. If DBT is not practiced according to the research model that produces effective change but is practiced “my way” by a therapist without adequate training, it probably won’t produce the same kind of results as the research programs. Outcomes from this kind of DBT will not justify additional DBT training or new DBT programs in the community. Currently. Dr. Linehan is working on a way to certify therapists who practice DBT so that people can determine if a therapist is truly qualified to practice DBT.

HOW TO KNOW IF A THERAPIST PRACTICES DBT?
These are the questions you should ask:

• Have you completed a 10 day intensive DBT training ?
• Are you a member of a DBT consultation team ?
• Have you been supervised by an expert DBT therapist?
• Are you familiar with the main sets of DBT strategies (cognitive behavioral therapy,
  validation, dialectics)
• Do you teach skills, practice behavior analysis, review diary cards?
• Do you do phone coaching?
• How many clients have you treated using DBT?

The answer to these questions should be yes. You have a right to check on the therapist’s credentials; to know if the therapist is licensed in his/her state; to know the extent and nature of the therapist’s education and training; the extent of the therapist’s experience in treating clients with similar problems; the therapist’s arrangements for coverage or emergency contacts.

DBT TREATMENT TARGETS

Pre-treatment Targets
• Orienting and Agreement on Goal

1st Stage Targets
• Decreasing or eliminating life-threatening behaviors
   (suicide attempts, suicidal  thinking, self-injury, homicidal and aggressive 
   behaviors)
• Decreasing or eliminating therapy-interfering behaviors (missing sessions, not
  doing homework, behaving so that others burn out”. using hospitalization as a way 
  handling crisis).
• Reducing or eliminating hospitalization as a way handling crisis.
• Decreasing Quality of life interfering behaviors (eating disorders, not going to work
   or school, addiction, periodic unemployment).
• Increasing behaviors that will enable the person to have a life worth living.
• Increasing behavioral skills that help to build relationships, manage emotions and
  deal effectively with various life problems. These skills are: Mindfulness,
  Interpersonal Relationships, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Self-
  Management.

2nd Stage Targets
• Decreasing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

3rd Stage Targets
• Increasing respect for self
• Setting individual goals
• Solving ordinary life problems

4th Stage Targets
• Capacity for Freedom and Joy

Although these priorities are presented in order of Importance however DBT practitioners believe they are all interconnected. If a person does not stay alive, they will not have the chance to receive help. If they don’t stay in therapy, they won’t get the help they need to change their quality of life. DBT aims to convince people to stay alive, stay in therapy and build a life worth living. As the person makes a commitment to life and to stopping self-destructive behaviors, DBT provides them with support in learning how to create and keep a life that is sustaining.



Some assumptions about DBT:     (from the TARA website www.tara4bpd.org)
People with BPD are doing the best they can.
• People with BPD want to improve.
• People with BPD need to do better, to work harder, and be motivated to change.
• The lives of suicidal BPD individuals are unbearable.
• People with BPD must learn new Behaviors. for all aspects of their lives.
• People cannot fail in DBT.
• Therapists treating people with BPD need support
• Families coping with people with BPD need support.
• Stress related dissociative symptoms such as paranoia; feeling as though
  they are losing touch with reality; feeling victimized; unable to accept responsibility.
• BPD is extremely painful to the patients, to those who live with them and to
  society. People with BPD experience emotions intensely and are very vulnerable.
  They are among the most intensive and extensive utilizers of mental health services.


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(12-24-09)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): Is it Enough?
by Tami Green

We recently featured an article which provided an extensive list of DBT inpatient facilities. Our reporter, Kara Kelly, spent considerable time researching these places and the result is a valuable resource for you. Readers since then have also suggested a few other DBT centers and hospitals, and we’ve added them to the bottom of Kara's article for you.

I also received a lot of feedback on that article from folks who have benefited by non-DBT treatment options and it occurred to me that I’ve given most of my airtime to only one recovery alternative.

Up front, to set the record straight, DBT is not the best treatment option for Borderline Personality Disorder. It is one of many, and arguably not the best for some. However, it is possibly the most widely-available option in the United States at this time, one I used, and I have also seen it transform many lives in my on-line classes.

With DBT alone, I would not have a life worth living, because, while the skills reduced my symptoms enough to be able to move on to the next stage, it did not assist me in developing a strong sense of self nor a game plan for getting my relationships, body and career on track. I used life coaching to help me get in touch with who I was and what I wanted in life. The result of coaching, and also some non-DBT therapy, is that people and circumstances now don’t knock me off course—I know me, and that remains constant.

So what exactly is DBT and where might it fall short?

DBT is a compilation of practical, yet brilliant, skills to be practiced each week, with one building upon the other. The most important of the skills is mindfulness, which is the ability to focus entirely on the present, while pushing all distractions more

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More on Distress Tolerance     (6-23-10)
by Christy Matta, MA from "Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Radical Acceptance"
 

For many, reality is hard to accept. Unexpected and overwhelming events like lost jobs, physical illness and financial problems can make us want to give up or refuse to acknowledge the realities of our circumstances.

In Dialectical Behavior Therapy, the ability to accept life, the reality of circumstances in which we find ourselves and the painful events that each of us must endure is taught as a skill.

These skills can be difficult to teach and learn because the ability to respond to the world as it is, is an underlying attitude towards life. These skills, taught in the Distress Tolerance Module of the skills training group, include strategies to get both our bodies and our minds into more accepting attitudes.  Below are a few exercises on acceptance:

Body Awareness

To cultivate a more accepting state of mind, increase awareness of your body. Start by simply bringing your awareness to the position of your body. This can be done any time and any place. Whether you are walking, standing or sitting, notice your position. Become aware of the purpose of your position. For example, are you folding your arms across your chest in a defensive stance or are you tapping your foot in anxiety. If you notice that your mind has drifted, bring your attention back to your breath. It can be helpful to practice breathing exercises, such as counting each breath or saying “in” with each inhale and “out” with each exhale.

Turn Your Mind

Acceptance requires a choice. You have to turn your mind towards accepting reality, rather than rejecting and judging reality. You must commit to accepting the current situation and reality over and over. Each time your mind tells you it’s unfair or shouldn’t be as it is, you must turn your mind towards acceptance.

Be Willing

When the world seems unfair and you’re feeling stuck, depressed or frantic, it’s natural to want to give up, try to fix what can’t be fixed, or simply refuse to tolerate the situation. Instead of trying to impose your will on reality, focus on doing what works. Do just what is needed in each situation. Your job is to simply do your best, whatever the world throws at you.

Accepting reality can become a habit. If done regularly, it can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your ability to identify and solve the problems in your life.   What helps you accept life as it is?

References

Linehan, M.M. Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press, 1993.

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