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#47: Emotion Regulation Overview Part 1

The Emotion Regulation skills in DBT offer lots of ways to help you identify and respond to emotions. Some of the Emotion Regulation skills focus on change, while others focus on acceptance. This toggling back and forth between acceptance and change is the primary dialectic we are continually balancing in DBT.

This episode provides an overview of the Emotion Regulation skills as a whole, and takes a deep dive into change-oriented strategies such as Check the Facts, Opposite Action, and Problem Solving.

Show Highlights:

  • Emotions are hard-wired into us
  • Emotions motivate us to take action
  • Emotions provide us with important information
  • Emotions are also nonverbal communication to other people
  • Be mindful about not mistaking emotions for facts
  • Check the Facts helps you figure out whether or not your emotion is based on facts
  • Painful emotions may be based on your history, interpretations, or assumptions rather than facts
  • Is there a worst case scenario I am worried about? If so, how will I cope with it?
  • Opposite Action helps you act opposite to what your emotion is telling you to do
  • It’s important to do Opposite Action all the way
  • Problem Solving helps us figure out and name the problem, based on facts rather than judgements
  • Problem Solving helps us take small action steps to solve problems which is helpful for complicated, long-standing problems that we might avoid trying to work on because they feel overwhelming
  • Layering of DBT skills is often needed, and using just one skill may not be enough
  • You need to be in Wise Mind to do all 3 – Check the Facts, Opposite Action, and Problem Solving

Skills Discussed:

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Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.