What Is DBT?
Developed in the 1980s by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy originally designed to better treat borderline personality disorder. It has since been expanded to treat other enduring mental health disorders including anxiety, bipolar and depression.
Mindfulness Exercise: Focus on an object.
This mindful exercise will help you focus fully on the present moment
In normal life your attention can wander from one thing to another and as a result you can become frustrated, distracted and often get lost. This exercise will help you focus your mind on a single object
The purpose of this exercise is to train your 'mental muscle' to help you to focus and maintain that focus on whatever you're observing.
Practicing this exercise regularly means you will get better at focusing your attention for longer periods of time. Try not to criticise yourself or stop the exercise should you become distracted by your thoughts or feelings.
Remember if your mind wanders, just return your focus to the object you are observing
To get the most out of this exercise you should practise this exercise twice a day for a few weeks, choosing a different object each time.
- Choose an object that won't stir emotions: like a cup, set of keys, a plant or similar.
- Find a quiet place to sit down without any distractions and place the object in front of you.
- Sit comfortably and take some slow, deep breaths. Without touching the object just look and observe it's surfaces.
- Take your time. Try to imagine the qualities that the object reveals.
- What does the surface of the object look like?
- Is it light or dark in colour?
- Does it look soft or hard?
- Does it have one colour or many colours?
- Is there anything unusual about the way it looks?
Take your time looking at the object. When you are ready hold the object in your hand or reach out and touch it, notice the various ways it feels.
- Does it feel rough or smooth?
- Does it look flat or does it have ridges?
- Do different areas of the object feel different?
- Does it feel cool or warm?
- If you're holding the object, how much does it weigh?
- How else does the object feel?
With sight and touch, explore the object. When your mind begins to wander, bring your focus back to the object. When you are ready return your focus to the room.
The Dialectial Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook
We work from a self-help book - The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook which teaches four important skills to help reduce the impact of overwhelming emotions and help to keep you grounded when these emotions happen.
Click the cover on the left to read an example of the kind of mindfulness exercises that you'll find in the book.
What Are These Skills?
- Distress Tolerance: Build up resilience to upsetting events.
- Mindfulness: Experience the present more fully and overcome judgemental behaviour.
- Emotion Regulation: Recognise and observe your emotions instead of being overwhelmed.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness: The tools to express your needs and negotiate solutions to problems.
The hard part will be the commitment from you to do the exercises and put your newly learned skills into practice. Nothing can change just by reading the chapters as the words in the book will have no impact on your life unless you implement -behaviourally- the strategies and skills that you need to make changes in your life.
Please contact us first if you would like to join so we can meet you in advance.
Red Gables, Stowmarket
Every Monday and Wednesday and Thursday
1.30pm - 3.30pm - Mondays
12pm - 2pm - Wednesdays
6pm - 7.30pm - Thursdays
Click for address and map