3D’s Skill: Delay, Distract, Decide: One way of supporting clients in early recovery is to develop their efficacy with managing urges/cravings for substances. The 3D’s Skill (a modification from DBT STOP distress tolerance skill) walks the client through pausing (Delay), coping with the urge (Distract), and then engage in critical thinking about their next step (Decide). This can slow down the process of returning to use and support the client in living a life aligned with their emerging values in recovery
This guided practice is intended to help ease fear, anxiety, or any heavy feelings you may have at this time. It’s nothing more than breathing and focusing your intention on deep healing.
This practice can help clients accept and face shame, and practice attending to it and distracting from it.
Accepting our own vulnerability is made easier when give ourselves compassion. Use this self-compassion break with clients in session or encourage them to use it on their own when working with difficult or vulnerable emotions.
Positive journaling has been found to help improve feelings of well-being and self-esteem. With this self-esteem worksheet, your clients will be asked to record three daily statements related to their successes, good qualities, and positive experiences. This worksheet is great for clients who have difficulty generating ideas for positive experiences to journal about.”
Assign this as homework for your client for a week, and use the next session to reflect on their observations after journaling about their success and strengths for a week. How did this affect their view of self? Relationships? Mental health symptoms? Explore the Ct’s experience noticing their own strengths.
Everyone experiences cognitive distortions at some point; they’re really common! However, these ways of thinking can misinform us about reality and influence our emotions and behaviors in ways we don’t like. Review the list of cognitive distortions, identify cognitive distortions that are common for you, and try to think of ways to adjust the thoughts so that they are more neutral and accurate.
This mindfulness practice includes the defusion technique of imagining an emotion as an object, and a self soothing technique of imagining a healing light addressing that object.
For the next week, do 1 thing every day from this list of 176 activities. Notice which activities you gravitate towards, and notice how incorporating these events into your daily life affects your mood, relationships, and thoughts
Reducing vulnerability to unpleasant emotions: While all emotions serve a function and have meaning, sometimes it can be helpful to find ways to protect ourselves from “spiraling” and feeling overwhelmed. The following acronym from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is used to help us remember ways to reduce our vulnerability to “spiraling:”
DEARMAN is an acronym to help us effectively advocate for ourselves and improve our interpersonal communication. Use this acronym to broach a difficult conversation with a family member, friend, or at work.