This past Monday marks the end of the Interpersonal Effectiveness module in my DBT class. Next Monday we begin 12 weeks of Distress Tolerance.
What have I learned from my 12 weeks of Interpersonal Effectiveness
- I have been able to identify my favourite adversive strategies to use and how they do not work for me.
- I identified my personal values and how I need to work on translating them into my daily life.
- DEAR MAN, even if I can only remember to use little bits of it (I heavily rely on the describe and express bit).
- GIVE, I learned that I already practice (act) Interested and Validate and now need to tie it in with being Gentle and having an Easy Manner.
- FAST, I need to work on not apologizing for everything and sticking to my values (it is ok to do those things!).
- That being effective in my communication with others (including saying no) is important and good.
- Not every situation requires great amounts of intensity. I need to look at each situation and use the appropriate amount of intensity.
- Keep practicing being assertive and finding the middle ground in that communication.
- I need to get over my blocks to listening because they do not help me or the other person communicate.
- I need to finally start putting effort into discovering my boundaries and maintaining them as well as respecting the boundaries of others.
I am looking forward to Distress Tolerance because I am seeing how adding it to Interpersonal Effectiveness makes both easier to do. While I do have skills in decreasing my distress I have seen how lacking these skills makes it difficult to communicate. For example, I am assertive with my needs but I am told no, that my needs cannot be met so I lose control and cannot cope. Also, if I am unable to cope then I can most likely not communicate well because I am experiencing too much stress to use my Wise Mind. I have already done the majority or completed the Distress Tolerance module when I was going through the DBT Workbook on my own a few years back and I enjoyed it. I think I will enjoy it even more with others to learn about it with me.