DBT Skills: Thought and Emotion Defusion

In this week’s DBT class with DBT Path we discussed strategies to defuse the power our thoughts and emotions can have over us. If you are like me, your thoughts and emotions can become so overwhelming that you become completely incapable of doing anything else except focusing on those thoughts and feeling those emotions. It is not only emotionally painful but sometimes physically painful with potential physical and emotional consequences if positive coping is not utilized. The goal of thought and emotion defusion strategies is to provide you with the opportunity to take a step back from what you are experiencing, let them float by and carry on with your life, not letting them control you.

Recently I was struggling with the thought, “I am alone.” For about two weeks, I told myself daily that I was alone and that it was because no one cared about me. This thought surfaced and was reinforced by the fact that I frequently was finding myself physically and emotionally alone due to busy work schedules and lack of internet access. I foud myself, almost nightly, sitting on my couch sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. It was a horrible experience and they were controlling me.

A strategy we discussed in class to help with thought and emotion defusion was thinking of these distressing thoughts in the voice of a funny cartoon character. By saying these thoughts in their voice, we can hopefully see these distressing thoughts from a more detached perspective and have a little laugh while we imagine them speaking our thoughts. I immediately chose Jake the Dog and Lumpy Space Princess (LSP) from Adventure Time!  Saying anything in their voices would make me laugh and Adventure Time is also a show I watch when I need a pick me up 🙂 Next time, I will be sure to practice saying thoughts in Jake or LSP’s voice!

Jake the Dog

Lumpy Space Princess

And actually, Catbug would be awesome too!


5 thoughts on “DBT Skills: Thought and Emotion Defusion

  1. Those were so cute! I’ve not see a cartoon of any kind in, wow! Like 20-25 years? Thanks!

    What a fun idea to use silly voices when upset. I will have to give this a try!

    I hope you are feeling better today! Hugz!!!

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