Dialectical Behavioral Therapy integrates mindfulness skills to help students learn to stay in the present moment and to manage emotions and thoughts more calmly. Mindfulness includes developing a path to a wise mind where one can utilize interpersonal and emotional regulation skills to manage the dialectic of both self-acceptance and a desire for change.
Diary cards are used for students to record their emotional fluctuations on a daily basis. The cards are then reviewed with the student, staff and student’s therapist to determine triggers to emotions, skills used to manage emotions, and the effectiveness of those skills. As CCT students are increasingly exposed to more and more stressors and challenges through intentional scaffolding (such as college, work, as relationships) they are able to practice the distress tolerance skills acquired through DBT.
DBT teaches students to generalize the skills to a variety of life experiences to avoid relapse or other acting out behavior. The utilization of a DBT based Chain Analysis gives students the opportunity to explore old, dysfunctional patterns of behavior and develop a step-by-step plan to examine the thoughts, feelings and actions that triggered the old pattern of behavior. Examination of the behavior allows students information to manage dysfunctional behaviors more effectively in the future.