How Do DBT Skills Groups Work?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT for short) is a great way to learn to manage your emotions. This therapy, offered as part of the Machon Dvir Intensive Summer Program in Jerusalem, is designed to help people to understand and manage their own behavior so that they can feel more emotionally secure.
The four key skills taught in DBT are:
- Emotion Regulation
- Distress Tolerance
- Interpersonal Effectiveness
Part of the DBT skills group work involves mindfulness exercise, which are not as “zen” as they sound! Mindfulness is about learning to be in the moment, to ignore distractions and to focus on whatever it is that you are trying to do. We all find it challenging to ignore our phones, message alerts, pop-up windows and interruptions, so learning how to be focused and mindful is a crucial lesson for all of us.
Mindfulness is the first step toward recognizing and adjusting your emotions, thoughts, and behavior. It can help you to pay close attention to your emotions and experiences, and to ignore external stimuli that may be negative. The second step is learning to avoid experiences and situations that can trigger emotional issues, and instead to choose to engage in healthy experiences that promote stability and satisfaction. The third step is to develop distress tolerance skills that you can use if you experience negative emotions, in order to stay in control. These skills might include relaxation or distraction techniques – each person is encouraged to develop techniques that they personally find helpful in situations that they recognize as potentially stressful. The fourth stage in DBT is to develop healthy relationship skills to help us interact with other people more successfully.
It is easy to understand why many psychologists recommend that everyone should learn these skills, to help us all cope with challenging situations. It’s not rocket science, but it is a tried and tested methodology which has been proven to help people who struggle with anxiety, depression, impulsive, addictive and self-harming behaviors, and dysregulated eating.
People who participate in the DBT Skills groups at Machon Dvir are encouraged by the empathy of the group leaders, who make a point of listening to each participant and encouraging the other group members to do the same. It can be helpful to spend time with other people who are facing similar struggles, and who want to work together toward similar goals. It is common to feel lonely and frustrated that other people don’t understand what you are feeling, so the skills group experience can help you overcome that feeling that you are the only one who is finding life hard.
DBT skills are skills for life. They are well worth investing a little time in developing. If you think that they could help you, why not investigate our Summer Courses in Jerusalem. Our skills groups are run in English by experienced and empathetic therapists, and the groups are structured separately for men and for women and for different age groups. They last for just 6 weeks with two sessions each week. This investment of time and effort could be the best possible use of your summer vacation!
Call us today to find out how DBT Skills could help you manage your emotions and prepare you for a more successful future.