DBT is a proven mode of therapy that can help one gain healthy and productive skills to replace negative and unhealthy coping skills. It has shown to be effective with persons struggling with mood disorders, issues with self-harm, and those that struggle with intense emotional pain. DBT also helps our students feel better about themselves, more in control of their emotions and lives, and increases their self-esteem. It consists of the four skill modules listed below.
Mindfulness is one of the core concepts behind all elements of DBT. Mindfulness is the capacity to pay greater attention to the present moment. Mindfulness is all about living in the moment, experiencing one’s emotions and senses fully, yet with a healthy perspective. It is considered a foundation for the other skills taught in DBT because it helps individuals accept and tolerate the powerful emotions they may feel when challenging and changing their ineffective and/or unhealthy patterns.
Many of our students have struggled historically with boundaries and healthy relationships. Interpersonal response patterns taught in our program include assertiveness and interpersonal problem-solving skills. They include effective strategies for making requests, saying no to unwanted requests by others, setting healthy boundaries, and coping with interpersonal conflict appropriately.
The interpersonal effectiveness module focuses on situations where the objective is to change something (e.g., requesting that someone do something) or to resist changes someone else is trying to make in an assertive manner. The skills taught in Maple Rise Academy are intended to increase the student’s interpersonal skills and create goals for specific situations, while at the same time maintaining the relationship (if appropriate to do so) and the student’s self-respect.
Many of our students struggle with intense waves of emotions that they may not know how to manage effectively. Maple Rise academy will teach DBT skills for emotion regulation that include but are not limited to:
- Identifying and labeling emotions
- Identifying obstacles to changing emotions
- Reducing distorted thought processes
- Increasing skills of healthy living
- Increasing positive emotional events
- Increasing mindfulness to current emotions
- Building mastery and self-esteem
- Applying distress tolerance techniques
- Developing healthy self-care
Life, at times, can be difficult for anyone. Distress tolerance skills assist us in developing healthy ways of accepting this reality and managing it in appropriate and healthy ways. Distress tolerance skills constitute a natural development from mindfulness skills. They have to do with the ability to accept, in a non-evaluative and nonjudgmental fashion, both oneself and the current situation. The goal is to become capable of calmly recognizing negative situations and their impacts, rather than becoming overwhelmed or hiding from them. This allows individuals to make wise decisions about whether and how to take action, rather than falling into an intense, desperate, and often destructive emotional reaction.