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DBT Week 2 – Core Mindfulness

Emotional Mind – Thinking is impaired, thinking distortions are common, distances from others, impaired decisions

Wise Mind – Ideal for relationships and decision making. It’s half way in between emotional and reasonable mind.

Reasonable Mind – Impaired decisions and distances from others

To differentiate a feeling from a thought” Only a feeling can fit in the sentence stem “I’m ________”.

Many people think that an activating event causes an emotional consequence, like this:
Activating event: phone rings at 2 AM —-> Consequence: panic or anxiety

If this was true then the activating event would always cause panic or anxiety. However, someone who thinks the phone is a wrong number would likely feel irritation as opposed to panic or anxiety.

So, there is an important mediating factor that determines someone’s emotional consequence, which is that person’s belief (or thought) about the event, like this:

Activating event: Phone rings at 2 AM –> Belief: Somebody’s hurt –> Consequence: Anxiety/Panic
Activating event: Phone rings at 2 AM –> Belief: Wrong Number –> Consequence: Irritation

Sometimes our thoughts can be distorted or even downright false and the more we are in our emotional mind, the more likely that our thoughts can be distorted. So, it is important to separate our feelings from o0ur thoughts to determine if there are any distortions or falsehoods, and if so, to reframe our thinking to more accurately reflect reality.

How to Reframe Your Thinking

1. Work backwards from your feelings to ID your thoughts. Ask yourself: What am I thinking that is contributing to the way I feel.

2. Examine your thoughts using a filter.

  1. What is the evidence for this thoguht?
  2. Is this always true?
  3. Is this thought helpful or harmful to me?
  4. Did I inherit this thinking from my family-of-origin, or is it something I chose

If your thinking does not pass this test, then it is probably distorted and you need to reframe your thought.

3. Reframe your thinking

  1. Use a positive statement and avoid negatives.
  2. Use the proper tense
  3. Use I statements whenever possible. For example, “I can”, “I am becoming”, “I am willing to”
  4. Use statement which you have some belief in. It is ok if you are not 100% convinced of the statement, but it needs to be a little bit believable to you.

4. Use these statements and talk back to the automatic voice that can sabotage you!

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