Today, Marielle interviews Elle Michel, LMFT, a therapist in Los Angeles who specializes in treating complex trauma. Elle uses a combination of modalities to treat trauma, including DBT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Brainspotting.
This episode focuses on describing what happens in the nervous system after a traumatic event, and how to use DBT skills to cope with an activated brain and body.
- DBT skills can help create safety and grounding when there is a trauma history
- Trauma takes time to heal
- The importance of reducing shame about how people have coped and normalizing the desire to feel better
- The temperature part of the TIPP skills is useful for flashbacks, high anxiety, and feeling unsafe
- Self-Soothing with the 5 senses
- Using Distraction intentionally to focus your attention somewhere else when activated or triggered
- Radical Acceptance of both the trauma and the aftermath
- PLEASE skills, as many trauma survivors learn to neglect their own well-being
- Opposite Action for resistance to taking care of self
- Retraining your brain to pay more attention to positive and neutral events
- Gratitude lists
- Trauma can make people’s lives small as a way to feel safe
- Using DEAR MAN to directly assert needs
- The importance of self-validation, using phrases such as:
- “There is nothing wrong with me for feeling this way.”
- “This is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.”
- “It makes sense that I feel this way.”
DBT Skills Discussed
Ask us a Question
We’d love to hear from you! Where are you getting stuck with your skills application? Ask us a question for the chance to have it answered on the podcast. Submit your question here.
Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.