A Way To Heal
If you are reading this section you might already be skeptical. Most people just don’t get how difficult it can be to deal with depression. They think it is probably just situational because of some recent, sad event or loss and that it is time to move on. Others see you being pretty interactive and gracious with most others around you and they have no idea how much energy even those brief interactions require. Some people saw you as productive and wonderful just a few years ago and can’t conceive that you are not that way now. They think if you just used more will power you could be fine.
Over 70% of Young Adults...
Experience deep feelings of hopelessness at times each year and that one in five adolescent women experience significant depression. Those that are GLTBQ are at an even higher risk.
Fortunately, even though depression is on the rise, we know much more about how to deal with it than ever before.
We Use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to Deal with Depression
What is It?
One of our most preferred paths to help you and others be successful in managing your life proactively is through the use of DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Not too many types of therapy have been researched to see if they actually help people change. DBT has solid positive research that backs it up as a proven, effective method. So, what is it? DBT combines the logic of logical, western thought with the meditative and calming strategies of eastern philosophies of healing. DBT gives you a boatload of various skills to manage emotions, thoughts, body states, relationships and self-criticism in ways that allow you to be aware of yourself and know what to do when tough things come your way. For example, you might practice ways in group therapy to cool down your body while not over-reacting to a crisis. Through lots of practice or “homework” you can get to a point where you rarely get “ambushed” by real life crises for years to come.
DBT in group work
The strategies you learn in individual work are also those taught and practiced in group therapy and group skills work. Here, you get to try out different strategies with others. The skills groups will feel a bit like class. Concepts are taught, clever acronyms or word phrases representing different skills get introduced and then sort of rehearsed.
DBT in individual therapy sessions
When you enroll in our program an individual therapist will work with you each week. Additionally – and this is important – your therapist will also be able to coach you on those rare occasions where you need just a bit of support at other times when you are not at the actual program. Their job is to help you identify how you regulate emotion, how your inner thoughts influence your behavior, and how you view yourself, those around you and the world. From that, you work to learn coping skills designed to counteract past negative functioning while learning other skills that better connect you to your real self. That sounds a bit ethereal, but DBT does take you into deep thinking and feeling.
Here are a couple examples to better manage thinking versus emotions. To use a "Wise Mind" more effectively as oppossed to an Emotional Mind or a Reasonable Mind.
Manage Thinking: TIPP
Helping to lower your body "T"emperature
"I"ntense exercise to discharge runaway emotions
"P"aced breathing by which you slow down the body's tendency to escalate
"P"rogressive muscle relaxation which trains your body to be calm
Practice Makes Perfect
As you learn, then practice at the program, and then in your life you become more and more proficient in managing life. You need to know that we will ask you to keep track of when and how effectively you use the many skills. Your group and your therapist can show you how they work, but you are the one that needs constant practice to have skills become a natural way of being.
Learn "DEAR MAN"
"D"escribe what you see happening
"E"xpress your view
"A"ssert your needs and thinking
"R"einforce your opinion
Be "M"indful of others
"A"ppear confident and
"N"egotiate with others
Your family and DBT
So, imagine that you are really getting frustrated and stressed and your parents try their old strategies to help you cope. If those strategies were effective you might not be reading this! Now imagine them attending skills group and multi family support groups and family therapy on a regular basis where they also learn DBT skills. First, maybe then they are able to manage their own stress better while being more effective with their thinking, their interactions with you and with others. Perhaps they even become a resource to model and coach you a bit when stressors hit. We know your family has a lot to do with your success and we know that if they do not learn and change it compromises the changes you make. We expect each family to be involved.
We also use a multi-modal approach. What that means, is that we don’t want to rely on just one strategy alone! We believe individual sessions with a trusted therapist help. We believe that being in groups with others who are going through similar challenges can inspire and connect you. We know that your family needs skills to support you and to keep a healthy balance. We know that medication can often be useful. We know that exercise, a decent diet, being outside, serving others and being able to live day to day - even when symptoms are kicking your butt - will give you a way to heal.