Introduction to Distress Tolerance & the STOP Skill

#9: Introduction to Distress Tolerance & the STOP Skill

Marielle and Ed delve in to a discussion today on how you can learn to tolerate emotional distress and overwhelm without making things worse.  There’s a whole range of behaviors that we can learn, from mindfulness to using creative ways to distract. Learn more about how to ride out emotional storms with getting carried away by the winds.

“People we love will die, we will get sick, things will not go our way, and we need to learn how to ride out those emotional storms in the most graceful way that we can, without creating additional problems for ourselves.”

– Marielle Berg

Show Highlights:

  • Resistance of emotional pain creates an additional level of suffering
  • Dialectical approach of accepting what is AND looking for ways to change
  • Cultural push to fix things
  • When we respond to emotional pain in unskillful ways
  • Learning to ride out emotional pain more skillfully
  • Feeling shame over the coping habits we have established
  • Distress tolerance skills are a natural outgrowth of mindfulness skills
  • Concepts of emotion mind, reasonable mind and wise mind
  • Subjective units of distress or SUDS
  • Learning to ride out the storm 
  • How we define a crisis in DBT
  • When NOT to use these skills
  • Skilled distraction
  • STOP skill is where we start: Stop, Take a Step Back, Observe, Proceed Mindfully

Links & Resources:


“DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets” – by Marsha Linehan

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