You can regulate your emotions and better respond to distress through dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills training. Dialectical behavior therapy emotional regulation skills have proven to be especially effective in people struggling with self-harm and other self-destructive, maladaptive behavior.
Using mindfulness for self-harm is a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill. Dialectical behavior therapy is an effective type of treatment used for issues of self-harm. Originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), it is currently used to treat a variety of mental illnesses such as eating disorders and chronic depression. Dialectical behavior therapy targets emotion dysregulation to help patients cope with the severity of their distress.
Distress tolerance skills are coping skills taught in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of treatment that teaches patients how to regulate their emotions and respond to distress through skills training. Distress tolerance skills have proved to be especially effective in people struggling with self-harm and other self-destructive, maladaptive behavior.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of treatment that teaches patients how to regulate their emotions and respond to distress through skills training. It has proved to be especially effective in people struggling with self-harm and other self-destructive, maladaptive behavior.
If you have been struggling with self-harm and are considering professional help as an option, you may have already come across a type of treatment called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for ending self-harm. Though many find success with other common therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), DBT has proved uniquely suited to patients who engage in self-harming behavior.
Some coping mechanisms for self-harm act immediately to help stop the urge. In fact, sometimes all we need to get us committed to stop engaging in self-harm is knowing that there are alternative ways of coping with distress and satisfying self-harm compulsions. An important step toward self-harm recovery involves familiarizing ourselves with these alternative coping mechanisms for self-harm, figuring out what works for us, and creating a toolbox (whether that be a mental toolbox or a literal collection of physical objects) of things that we can turn to in our more vulnerable moments.
Our expectations about self-harm recovery sabotage us. You see, when you are in the depths of your self-harm, it is hard to imagine life without it. Even if you want to stop, it feels overwhelming and daunting because you figure that in order to be able to stop, the problems that made you turn to self-harm in the first place would have to be resolved. In other words, the circumstances surrounding your recovery would have to be completely different from the circumstances surrounding your self-harm. But this is a lie we tell ourselves that will sabotage our self-harm recovery.
The root causes of self-harm are as varied as the people who are affected by it. Though self-harm is a problem in and of itself, it is often a response to an underlying stressor of some kind. The reason behind the stress is the cause of self-harm.
You would think that the reasons to recover from self-harm would be obvious. In a way, they are. You would also think that those who currently suffer from self-harm tendencies would recognize these reasons and use them to motivate their recovery. In a way, they do. But that is the thing about mental illness: no one chooses to be sick. Rationale tells us that the drawbacks of self-harm far outweigh the benefits but our sick brains tell us otherwise. The trick is to access and strengthen our rationale — that is, the healthy part of our brains that still exists somewhere inside of us — to do what we know we need to do (Mental Illness Isn't a Choice, But You Still Have Choices). Finding reasons to recover from self-harm is part of the process.