The four main modules that are taught in DBT are Mindfulness (balancing emotional mind and reasonable mind to be in Wise mind, avoiding judgments), Interpersonal Effectiveness (being assertive, not compromising your values, paying attention to what someone is saying, setting and keeping boundaries, self respect along with respect for others), Emotional Regulation (helping yourself to not get stuck in a mood or caught in an emotion, keeping your body healthy which helps regulate your mind and lessons vulnerability) and Distress Tolerance (not allowing a problem to get bigger than it is, self-soothing, acceptance, tolerating emotions without allowing them to take over).
Some of the skills seem as though they are common sense if in the wise mind, but I have found personally that they can aid in many situations which usually occur when not in wise mind and put me right in my emotional mind. A main goal of DBT is to help ourselves build “A Life worth Living”. I personally had a big problem paying attention because my mind was always busy with worries and I just can not focus on one thing at a time and allow my emotions and my past to get in the way of me moving on in life, but by simply using the five senses to immerse yourself in whatever it is that you are doing at that moment you can avoid careless mistakes and calm anxiety, even if just for that moment that is all it is for.
If you’re interested in additional information about DBT or the skills used try googling Marsha Linehan and DBT, there are many helpful sites including one I go to often dbtselfhelp.com.
When I actually go to my DBT group we are supposed to fill out a diary card daily throughout the week about several aspects of the days and use of the skills, although none of us in our group really do it: alcohol consumed, over the counter meds, prescription meds and illegal drugs. We also rate how we felt on a scale of 0-5our suicidal ideations and misery. We also add if we had any urges to hurt ourselves and if we acted upon those urges. We also keep track of what skills that we used. I will elaborate on the skills more in another entry.
Every week the group goes into more detail about each of the core skills and allows us to share some of our frustrations and our success’ with the use of the skills. It also allows us to help others understand skills they may be having difficulties with and for us to recognize our own use of the skills.
If you are already in DBT I would love to hear from you about how your groups are run and any skills that you may have in addition to the ones listed. Maybe we could exchange information and help each other have better understandings of the skills and there use in our own daily lives.