Download The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook PDF

TitleThe Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size4.9 MB
Total Pages243
Document Text Contents
Page 2

The individual struggling with overwhelming emotions and DBT therapists will benefit significantly from
this workbook. McKay, Wood and Brantley have expanded and translated DBT Skills, making Linehan’s
iconic work on emotional skill building even more accessible and easy to apply to everyday life.

—Kate Northcott, MA, MFT, is a DBT therapist in private practice with
Mindfulness Therapy Associates and is director of New Perspectives Center
for Counseling, a non-profit counseling center, in San Francisco, CA

Page 121

112 The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook

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Page 122

Advanced Mindfulness Skills 113

Sleepiness � means just that—feeling sleepy, heavy, and dull. It is important to note
that the causes of sleepiness can include physical fatigue, but, also, a second kind
of sleepiness is actually a resistance to something happening in mind and body
that may be frightening or painful. Learning to distinguish between these two is
very helpful.

Restlessness � is the opposite of sleepy. It can be very uncomfortable. It is a “storm”
of thoughts, feelings, and sensations that demand movement and are quite
distracting.

Doubt � is that inner voice that says, “I can’t handle this. I don’t know how to do it.
What good is this? This definitely is not for me.” Doubt is often expressed as words
in your mind and feelings of fear and resistance to what is happening.

Working Wisely with the Hindrances

The first and most potent way to handle any of the hindrances is to make the experience of
the hindrance itself a focus for your mindfulness. Acknowledge what is happening without fighting
it. Gently place attention on desire, aversion, sleepiness, restlessness, or doubt, and look deeply,
allowing the energy to reveal itself in all of its forms. Patiently return your soft and curious atten-
tion time and again, as often as necessary, to the hindrance energy, naming it and learning what
it has to teach you. The lessons can come in many ways, including thoughts, memories, feelings,
and body sensations.

In addition, you may find benefits in the following specific suggestions for each hindrance:

For desire, recall that no matter how many times you get what you desire, you always �
want more. Let this wisdom empower you to resist the temptation of desire and
learn from it instead. Keep noticing and naming desire without acting on it.

For aversion, recognize anger and ill will as some of your strongest teachers. � Resolve
to learn from them. At times, it also helps if you can work to balance them by
developing thoughts of compassion, kindness, and forgiveness.

For sleepiness, know it as a powerful condition that demands your full attention. � It can
help to sit up straight, even stand. Splash water on your face. Take a break and do
something active, walking mindfully, for example.

For restlessness, besides making it the object of mindfulness, it can be very helpful to �
sharpen your concentration. Take a more narrow or smaller focus, for example,
placing attention at the tip of your nose for practicing mindful breathing, or relax-
ing and counting your breaths from one to ten and back to one until the restless-
ness subsides.

Page 242

Matthew McKay, Ph.D., is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He is coauthor
of The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Thoughts and Feelings, Messages, Self-
Esteem, and others. His books combined have sold more than 2 million copies. He received
his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. In private
practice, he specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety, anger, and depression.

Jeffrey C. Wood, Psy.D., lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in cogni-
tive behavioral treatments for depression, anxiety, and trauma, as well as assertiveness and life-skills
coaching. He can be reached at www.drjeffreywood.com. He is author of Getting Help.

Jeffrey Brantley, MD, is a consulting associate in the Duke Department of Psychiatry and the
founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke University’s
Center for Integrative Medicine. He has represented the Duke MBSR program in numerous radio,
television and print interviews. He is the best-selling author of Calming Your Anxious Mind and
coauthor of Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm and Focused
All Day Long.

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