Author: Diana Gordon, Psy.D.
In Part 1 of our crisis survival series, we introduced the ACCEPTS acronym, which highlights 7 skills you can use to cope with challenging emotions. Today we will review two other Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills that can be helpful when you are experiencing powerful emotions.
One skill we teach a lot of our clients is self-soothing. We can draw on our senses to soothe ourselves during difficult moments. The great thing about these skills is that we can often draw on them quickly in the moment, with minimal preparation. You can use them anyplace and anytime you need to calm down. You can draw on your sense of vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, or movement to evoke positive emotions.
Another tool we often recommend for self-soothing is a DBT skill called TIPP the scale. The acronym TIPP stands for 4 ways that you can experience intense physical sensations that may help you feel more in control of your emotional state.
Both of these sets of skills can be helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed by strong emotions. By shifting your focus away from the immediate crisis, you give yourself a chance to calm down before engaging in problem solving or determining your next steps. If you would like to learn more skills for managing intense emotions, please reach out to us for a free phone consultation. And stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, which will introduce a few more crisis survival skills.
Diana Gordon, Psy.D., Kari Kagan Psy.D., and Katie Leoni, Psy.D.
Drs. Gordon, Kagan, and Leoni practice psychotherapy in downtown San Francisco and Oakland. Their areas of expertise include anxiety, sleep, stress, depression, and addiction. They blog about these topics to provide research-based information about common problems and strategies to help manage them.