Return to the Lord your God, for [S]he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and [S]he relents from doing harm. Joel 2:13I've returned to taking dialectical behavioral therapy class - I guess you could say that it's one of the ways I return to God. I mean, it is the way that I stop living in chaos and trying to be perfect. It is the way that most helps me reach my goals and feel successful. I like feeling that way and I was still struggling with too much intense anxiety, even though I had made some changes.
Yesterday I started the class and I love the new, to me, teacher. I love the feeling of validation that pervades the room and how she will not let us focus on what we did wrong, but on the progress, however small, we have made. In my experience, people who are validated in what they do well will feel stronger and more capable and empowered. As we say where I work, focus on what's strong, not what's wrong.
I took notes as the facilitater was talking and I had many a-ha moments and I am sure I will have them during the other classes, so I have decided to share my notes after each session. I really think it is great how I learn something new each time I take the course. Each time adds another layer of depth and meaning to the way I approach life.
DBT has four themes: mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. Yesterday was the first day of learning about emotion regulation, which was exactly what I wanted!
Emotion Regulation: Week 1
- Regulating our emotions is a learned skill that we are normally not taught growing up.
- Emotions are data points, bits of information, that tell us things we need to know.
- All emotions are a request for action, either to keep going or to change.
- Emotions are a messenger that knocks at our door. We might not want to obey the messenger, but we do want to listen.
- There is a difference between one's affect, or current emotion, and one's mood, which is one's general theme of emotions over an extended period of time. It can be good to look at what emotional theme is playing most often in one's general background. Do you want that theme to continue or change?
- There is more than one right way to see things. Emotions are not right or wrong; they just are.
- You can have a perception without judgement. You cannot have a judgement without a perception. The more nonjudgemental a person can be, the better. Judgements can fuck us up. (That last sentence is all me.}