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Bridget's Blog

July 24, 2017

The term validation is one you will hear often in DBT sessions, whether it is an individual or a group session. Validation is a core DBT strategy, but ....what does validation actually mean? 


Validation means being non-judgemental of one’s own or another person’s emotions, thoughts and behaviours, and communicating that the emotions, expectations, behaviours and so on, are understandable and make sense in the context of the current moment and own’s one or the other person’s life history to this point...

July 23, 2017

Many of my clients who struggle with eating and body image find that one of the most distressing and frustrating elements of their experience is all that thinking! Phrases like “busy head”, “over-thinking”, “second-guessing myself” come up a lot in our discussions. Many clients describe “eating disorder thoughts” or “ED thoughts” that are upsetting, feel alien and are experienced as distinct from their “own” thoughts. These so-called ED thoughts might run along the lines of “Don’t eat that – look at...

June 20, 2017

What do we mean by “emotional eating”?  Emotional eating is a colloquial term that usually refers to situations where people eat when upset, stressed, distressed, as a way of coping with the upset. Eating may help people distract from what has upset them, zone out generally, sooth themselves, treat or reward themselves and so on. Overall the effect is that the mood or emotion is to a degree neutralised. This type of eating is not associated with being hungry, and indeed can happen or continue to happ...

May 9, 2017

This is a very good question! The “D” stands for Dialectical.  And what does that mean?!

I’ll start to answer that with a question of my own. Can we be both mad at someone and love them? Can we be tough and gentle? Can we be independent and want help?  Can we accept ourselves the way we are and still want to change? Yes we can, and this is dialectical thinking!

Dialectical thinking means we let go of thinking or acting in extremes, seeing only black or white, holding rigidly to one point of view. When...

April 4, 2017

So, you have decided to commit to attending a DBT skills training group. Congratulations on your decision! Now, let’s look at what a skills training group involves.

Typically a skills training group lasts for two and a half hours, and has five sections. First up is the mindfulness practice. At the start of every group we do some form of mindfulness practice, varying the practice so that we cover all the core DBT Mindfulness skills. Many people think of mindfulness as just sitting still and breathing!...

April 4, 2017

We hear the phase body image bandied about a fair bit don’t we?  But what exactly is body image?  In general terms body image refers to how we experience our body. Everyone has a body image and the term itself does not actually mean something is wrong or distorted.

In their book “Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate”, Emily Sandoz and Troy DuFrene describe three elements to our body image. The first element is what they call “from the inside out”. This refers to what we feel inside our skin...

March 20, 2017

One of the goals in working with someone suffering from Anorexia is helping the person decide for his- or herself to regain weight, rather than the decision to weight restore be forced onto him or her by others. It is always important to validate to the person suffering from the eating disorder that they are likely to feel very ambivalent about changing, and at the same time to communicate to him or her that we belief change is possible. The change needed for people with Anorexia is of course to stop...

August 12, 2016

Willing hands has to be one of my favorite skills in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT. It is one of the skills from the DBT Distress Tolerance module, and is what we call in DBT an acceptance skill.

From a DBT perspective, acceptance is a process that reduces our suffering and increases our feelings of freedom, by allowing us to come to terms with the facts of our life as they are in the current moment. Willing hands is a way of accepting reality physically, with our bodies.

To do Willing Hands we...

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