Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Sound of Progress

Recently MyDBTlife had our first ever video chat peer support meeting! In this case our smaller turnout worked to our advantage with the general consensus being that it is beneficial to hear and/or see other peers who struggle with the same shared challenges: to hear the sincerity in their voice; to know that their truth strikes a chord in your own heart in a way that text misses entirely; to see in another's eyes the joy of successes shared.

As always, the simple joy of finding out that you are not alone, of naming or labeling the thing that holds you back and taking some defined action to re-balance the scales held our tiny group in fascination.

Each of us having experienced a life of mal-adaptive behaviors and the cumulative consequences, we were all able to share how dialectical behavioral therapy was our first encounter with an actual set of tools for regulating our emotions. For some that was enough, but others have found that other complementary therapies and practices have helped strengthen the usefulness of the DBT training.

We talked about how intensely we feel, and how our emotions vacillate from moment to moment based on our reaction to stimuli. We talked about shame and justification, and some of the skills used to help us keep on track.

One common theme was that this was just something taboo - that we don't acknowledge this behavior or talk about it to people who don't already understand, and that this was the primary value of having peer support.

There is no fear of being exposed in a group where you share the same willingness to change. Also knowing that what happens in the group stays in the group and how complete confidentiality is always observed serves to help people feel more comfortable as well.

We come together to strengthen ourselves and each other. This that we practice each individually in our separate lives becomes a gift to ourselves and the group when we share our experiences.

Sometimes it takes very little effort to make all the difference, and you may never know that your contribution to the group may have made someone else feel less alone, maybe encouraged someone to try again after a failure, maybe even saved a life.

With DBT, hard work, and peer support you can have control of your life! Check the calendar for the next session and come see for yourself!

And for those doing their homework

(which is to just choose one skill having to do with
emotional regulation and keep track of it this week)

emotion charts and a daily record.

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