Managing emotions to change behaviors
Managing emotions is the core of what I teach in my private practice and my experience from working with Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It is the inability to cope and manage your emotions that drive you to impulsive behaviors that decreases the emotion or temporarily solves a problem by distraction or other means but in the long run the consequences are dire, you´re in a worse spot than before. If the behavior decreases the intense negative emotion or increases a positive emotion then that behavior is reinforced which increases the probability that you will do that again and again to escape that emotion creating a behavioral pattern. How do we manage or cope with emotions? There are many theories, studies and good examples of how we might do and many of these can be found in the skill lists of DBT but even with this knowledge it´s hard to change behaviors that more quickly decreases the emotion over the constructive skills that might in fact for a short critical time even make it slightly worse before it gets better.
In DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) the skills are learned through going to skills training groups where you learn theory and rational behind the skills as well as how you practice and use the skills to effectively change behaviors in different situations. Even when people attend skill groups it´s hard to practice and use the skills and that´s why I created the DBT Self-help app which was released in the fall of 2011. The app contained the skill descriptions and the rational behind them to increase accessability which increases the chances of being used in situations they are most needed.
Now I am preparing to build on the previous success of the app, to correct the mistakes and build an app that really can make a difference for so many people who struggle with painful emotions and behaviors that they need and want to change, a tool that can help monitor emotions, behaviors and the skills used to manage and change them. This is a completely new app and should not be confused with the one developed in 2011 but the lessons learned from that development will guide us in creating the new app.
I´ve assembled a great team to develop the DBT Self-help & Diary Card app – skillbased self-help tool complete with diary card function and many features to increase skill learning.
This time I turn to all of you to join the campaign which will launch at indiegogo on tuesday the 17/6 and before that you can read about the new app by following the link below.
Summary: Managing emotions is at the core of changing behaviors as emotions drive us to action and the inability to cope with our emotions lead to suffering