One of my favorite therapeutic modalities to pull from is called DBT, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. As a Psychotherapist who specializes in all sorts of individual and couple issues, I find that it is the one that most of my clients resonate with. Below I will explain why it may be beneficial for YOU, your children; or simply a friend in need. I will also outline it’s basic principles in an easy to understand and relatable way. I hope you find this helpful!
SELF-SOOTHING has to do with comforting, nurturing and being kind to yourself.Self-soothing techniques often involve changing the moment of distress by focusing on this heightening awareness of your senses and fixing your attention on something pleasurable. Each of the five senses offer their own unique ways of transitioning us from distress to calm.
- Vision: Take a walk through a garden, quietly observe in nature, or visit an art gallery/museum.
- Hearing: Listen to soft, beautiful sounding music— with your full attention.
- Smell: Burn a scented candle, or visit the beach and smell the ocean.
- Taste: Eat something delicious— giving full attention to each morsel and truly appreciating the flavors.
- Touch: Take a warm bath or play with an animal. Sink into a really comfortable bed. Float or swim in a pool, and feel the water against your body. Focus your attention on pleasurable physical sensations.
Incorporating the self-soothing techniques takes time and practice. Forming new habits is not an easy task for anyone, but with patience and continued effort, people will find relief through the self-soothing methods taught in DBT.Some of you may recognize these techniques as things that you already put to use. But many people have never learned how to self-soothe, or how to do these often simple things that make us all feel better. These are mostly very physical techniques, that use different body senses. I urge you to experiment with these techniques until you find some that are comfortable and helpful for you. And when you find something that works, and makes you feel GOOD— practice it. Use them when you are feeling distressed; when emotions feel overwhelming; when situations feel like you can’t stand them any more. Instead of doing something harmful OR that simply doesn’t work for you (like reaching for food, alcohol, TV, shopping – whatever your vice may be)—- try something that gives you pleasure and comfort, such as an example from above. Are you or a loved one looking for a Psychotherapist who specializes in Marriage and Family relationships? Do you or a friend need help with a sticky social situation? Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face Psychotherapy sessions in Orange County, as well as, online through eTherapi. I am also offering FREE online sessions for first time clients @ Google Helpouts. Photo Credits: iStock