Many young people experience overwhelming emotions as a result of psychological and emotional distress. The following elements from ‘Dialectical Behaviour Therapy’ can also be found in the Distress Tolerance module within the YouthAOD toolbox.
A key assumption is if clients can come to accept that emotional pain is inevitably a frequent visitor in life, and if they learn alternative skills for coping with it, then unhealthy responses will be reduced. This element teaches several exercises for enhancing acceptance of painful events and feelings.
Exercises and techniques that distract attention away from pain give the person time for strong emotions to subside, so that self-destructive or otherwise harmful responses are less likely.
This element encourages the client to explore a variety of relaxation exercises with a focus on using the senses (vision, hearing, tasting, and touching). The element also teaches a ‘safe place visualization’ technique. Clients are encouraged to develop a relaxation plan.