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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Distress Tolerance 6: Half-Smile

So apparently there’s some kind of feedback mechanism in our bodies that sends happy signals to our brains when we smile, even if the smile is faked. People will tell you to smile, and you’ll feel better. Myth, right? Yes. And also, kinda. Plastering a smile on your face when you feel rotten in order…

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Distress Tolerance 5: Problem Behaviour Pros and Cons

A enormous part of distress tolerance is learning how to identify problem behaviours or unhealthy choices, and correct them so that crises and distress can be avoided. An effective way of doing this is by creating pros and cons lists to break down the behaviour and consequences of each choice we could make. Its a…

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Distress Tolerance 4: I.M.P.R.O.V.E.

Hey kids! Guess what! It’s another acronym!!! Get used to them, DBT is riddled with acronyms. This one is another set of skills you can apply when facing a moment of crisis or distress. Let’s jump right in! I – Imagery Use your imagination to put yourself in a place of calm. Imagine what you…

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Distress Tolerance 3: Self-Soothe with the Five Senses

One of the most important tools in your arsenal is techniques for self-soothing. You’ll hear phrases like self-care all over therapy, and that can include all kinds of things for maintaining and cultivating your well being in the long term. But if what you need is some immediate comfort in a distressing moment these skills…

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