Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group.

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group at Sorenson’s Ranch School has been busy. Students recently finished the interpersonal relationship section and have been demonstrating skills to assist them in being compliant and less defiant in their relationships with others. Skills included learning direct ways to communicate and to listen to others in communication, as well as learning to problem solve and negotiate.
Students in the DBT group are currently on the Emotion Regulation Unit. In this unit students learn about how their emotions are experienced and influence their behavior. For the past three weeks students have been learning about different emotions and how they are experienced. Students have participated in small group activities in which they have been able to role play different emotions and use specific emotion words to describe their emotions instead of using broad categories of happy, sad, and depressed.
During the Emotion Regulation Unit students will be learning how to reduce vulnerability to negative emotions by learning techniques to stay out of the emotional mind. These techniques are basic, but powerful and include taking care of oneself by treating physical illness, balancing their eating, avoiding mood altering drugs, balancing sleep, getting proper exercise and building mastery. Building mastery is a skill that helps students to gain control through developing new skills and talents as well as strengthening their abilities.
Students have been completing homework assignments, which are designed to assist them in learning to identify and express their emotions appropriately as well as learning to identify the aftereffects and functions of their emotions.
Learning to identify emotions and understand the ways emotions are experienced and the impact they play in the individuals life are key in students learning to handle behavior problems including defiance, conduct disorder as well as being able to understand and work through issues of depression and other mood disorders.
For parents who have students in DBT group be sure to ask your student about the skills they are learning and using, and how these skills are helping them to reach their treatment plan goals.

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