To guide youth AOD workers in how to best assist young people to better regulate their emotions, eight interrelated aspects of effective practice have been identified. Each aspect draws on particular therapeutic practice elements. While most psychotherapeutic interventions focus directly or indirectly on helping clients to cope better with emotions that they experience as problematic, the practice elements used in this module are drawn primarily from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Elements from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) have also been included as they are highly consistent with the theoretical underpinnings and psychological content of the DBT elements applicable for emotional regulation.
The evidence based content has been adapted where appropriate and supplemented with observations and notes designed to make the material more relevant for practitioners working with young people in AOD service settings. These adaptations have been informed by the wisdom of practitioners working in Victorian youth AOD services and related sectors (Bruun & Mitchell, 2012; Mitchell, 2012b).
The current module presupposes that therapeutic interventions targeting emotion regulation can be delivered independently of DBT as an integrated treatment program. Many clients who experience problems with emotion regulation do not have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or experience persistent suicidal behaviour or ideation. These clients will not necessarily benefit from a full course of DBT. The principles of client-centred care and cost-effectiveness suggest that it is more appropriate to provide practice elements focused on their particular issues (Mitchell, 2012a) .