Rather than avoid the distressing emotions, this technique gives the young person space for the overwhelming feelings to subside, in order to reduce the employment of harmful or negatively reinforcing behaviours such as self-injury.
G3ii. Distraction from pain
The aim is to help clients find a constructive alternative to behaviours such as self-injury which some say temporarily relieves their emotional pain. The practice involves developing a list of alternative actions that clients can take when the urge to self-harm arises. The intention is not to avoid facing the pain, but to give the person time for strong emotions to subside, so that they can think more clearly about how to cope with negative events in the medium to long term.
C1iii. Guided practice
In order to increase the likelihood that the young person will employ the techniques discussed, it may be of value to rehearse or practice them in the session.