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Emotional Regulation 3: Primary Emotions

There are approximately 8 primary emotions: anger, sorrow, joy, surprise, fear, disgust, shame/guilt, and interest. We are born with the potential/biological readiness for these. All others are learned and are usually a combination of these Emotions are particular types of patterned reactions to events. They are complex and involve many components Emotions come and go,…

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Emotional Regulation 2: Feelings =/= facts

Consider the following: Difficulty regulating emotions can be caused by a combinations of being born emotionally sensitive (biological cause) and in invalidating environment (environmental cause). Emotions are not necessarily prompted by one single event but by the interpretation of the event. We have a lifetime full of assumptions, values, beliefs and learned experience that are…

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Emotional Regulation 1: Models and Myths

What are emotions? What good are emotions? I know there are many times when it would be nice to push all of our painful emotions down as deep as they can go and hopefully they will just go away. But we all know that’s not what happens. Battling painful emotions is a daily occurrence for…

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Case Study: Howl (Howls moving Castle)

If you haven’t seen any of the Studio Ghibli films Hayao Miyazaki stop reading this and go watch them now. I don’t care if Anime isn’t your thing, these films are masterpieces of storytelling and visuals that will send your spirit soaring. Start with Howls Moving Castle (because not only is it the one we’re…

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Distress Tolerance 12: Morty and the Multi-verse

If you havn’t seen Rick and Morty, I highly recommend it. It has a perfect balance of entertainment, humour, sci-fi adventure, and nihilism. It features the most brilliant scientist in the universe, Rick Sanchez, and his pubescent whiny grandson, Morty, as they go on adventures through the multi-verse. The multi-verse, or Multiple Universe Theory, is…

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Distress Tolerance 11: The Path to the Dark Side

As we explored in my case study of Anakin Skywalker, young Anakin is denied entrance into Jedi training because he is too old, and because he has too much fear in his heart. He is confronted with the fear of losing his mother, and when he complains “what’s that got to do with anything?” Yoda…

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Distress Tolerance 10: The Ring of Power

There is a moment in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, when Frodo, Gandalf, and the fellowship are at a standstill in the middle of the Mines of Moria, and are not sure which turn to take next. Frodo and Gandalf discuss the events that led them to this point and…

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Distress Tolerance 9: The Kobayashi Maru

For those who don’t speak nerd, the Kobayashi Maru is a Star Trek reference. Its a test cadets in Starfleet academy have to pass if they ever want to captain a Starship, but it’s designed to put them into a no-win situation to see how they react to failure. The test is a simulation in…

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Distress Tolerance 8: Willfullness and Turning the Mind

In my posts about Radical Acceptance we cover a lot about why it’s a useful skill to use but how do we practice it? What does it look like if we don’t accept our reality, and how do we train ourselves to change unhealthy behaviours? When we are faced with a situation that is distressing…

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Distress Tolerance 7: Radical Acceptance

Here comes the serious stuff; something many people struggle with but in my opinion, one of the most important lessons to take to heart when you are really serious about recovery. Radical Acceptance. To radically accept something in your life, (for our purposes, mental and emotional pain) first you have to accept it. You have…

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