Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
This section will be primarily a refresher for myself in the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness skills.
*I am not a therapist, nor am I offering psychological advice. Please use an of your local (listed are US) services if you are in crisis, including but not limited to the emergency room (911), a confidential help text line (741741), or a confidential help phone line (988).*
The 6 key points of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy:
- Acceptance and change: You’ll learn strategies to accept and tolerate your life circumstances, emotions, and yourself. You will also develop skills that can help you make positive changes in your behaviors and interactions with others.
- Behavioral: You'll learn to analyze problems or destructive behavior patterns and replace them with more healthy and effective ones.
- Cognitive: You'll focus on changing thoughts and beliefs that are not effective or helpful.
- Collaboration: You'll learn to communicate effectively and work together as a team (therapist, group therapist, psychiatrist).
- Skill sets: You’ll learn new skills to enhance your capabilities.
- Support: You'll be encouraged to recognize your positive strengths and attributes and develop and use them.
The Goals of MBSR:
- Breathing techniques: You may learn diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing.4 On an inhale, your belly rises as you fill it up with air; on an exhale, your belly falls as it deflates. This and other types of conscious breathing may slow your heartbeat and lower your blood pressure, helping you feel more relaxed.
- Gratitude journaling: An instructor may encourage you to keep a gratitude journal, which means you write down things in your life you are thankful for.2 This practice helps to reframe your perspective into a more positive and optimistic one.
- Group discussions: Members of the group share their experiences as they integrate MBSR techniques into their daily lives.
- Assignments to be done on your own: Your instructor will most likely give you daily homework for the duration of the program. Assignments may include practicing specific mindfulness techniques, listening to guided meditations, watching informational videos, and/or using a workbook distributed by the instructor.
- Meditation: You'll be taught mindfulness meditations. One example is a body scan meditation, during which you close your eyes and focus your attention on different areas of your body.5 The goal is to notice any tension and visualize the discomfort leaving your body. You may also practice loving kindness meditations and mindful eating.
- Yoga: Your instructor will guide you in gentle yoga movements, which may help relax your body and your mind.