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Did you know your brain never stops thinking? It is true, however most people do not pay attention to their thoughts on a regular basis. With mindfulness, though, we learn to pay attention to our thoughts and our emotions as well as the way we interpret things.

Curiosity is truly a great thing. It is the perfect antidote to boredom. Look around you and there are things you can be curious about. If you see something that you want to know more about – great! Grab your computer or phone and research it.

Ask as skill, curiosity is a great way to learn from the people around you. Ask questions, look for different perspectives, your opinion – while valid – is not the only one.

A little curiosity can help you learn to understand others better and help you become a better communicator. There are so many benefits to curiosity! Want to learn more?

For more tips and other ways to help yourself visit the Healthy Futures website or YouTube channel.

Dr. Kim DiRé:  Hello, my name is Dr. Kim DiRé. Today, I want to talk to you about curiosity. I wanted to talk to you about curiosity and using it as a skill and developing it. Curiosity’s a great thing, and when I hear people say, “Oh, I’m bored.” I think, “I have the perfect solution: curiosity.”

As a skill, curiosity can do so many things. One of the curiosity killers is assuming that you know something. Be curious. Be interested. You can even be curious about being bored. The thing that helps nowadays is we have these search engines, and you can go and research stuff.

Sometimes, I marvel at something, and then, I can go immediately and research something. Another thing to be curious about is different perspectives in the world. Go ahead and ask people what do they think about something, so you can get an idea about how others think. Ask them how they feel, also. Be curious about that.

Don’t assume that your opinion is the only one. Be curious about others and how they see the world. I think you’ll learn how to communicate with people a little bit better. Ask them questions. Use curiosity as a way to entertain yourself through the world, connect with others.

I think you’ll find that the more curious you are, the more you develop that skill, the more enriched your life will be, so try it. I think you’ll like it. Thank you.

Do we need a behavior attached to all of our distressful feelings? Ask yourself, how do you behave when you are feeling anxious? Some people snack, or restrict food, or fidget, or pick, or pace. We are all different and we all have a different way of behaving in the face of anxiety. Some of those behavioral responses are healthier than others. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an eating disorder treatment involving techniques that may help when you’re feeling anxious.

If you struggle with unhealthy behaviors, try a different technique. Imagine you have an itch. Feeling that itch now? Now, don’t scratch it! Instead, pause and think about it. Observe and describe the itch. You may describe it as sharp, prickly, hot, pulsing and red. Soon enough, that feeling will dull, expand, cool and become blue. Do you still feel like you need to scratch? Probably not.

“Don’t scratch the itch” is a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) exercise you can practice next time you are anxious. Pause and describe what you are feeling. Soon, you should feel more at ease.

For more information on DBT skills, please contact Healthy Futures (480) 451-8500.

Kim Lipsman (Kim DiRe’):  Hi, my name is Kim Lipsman. I’m a mental health therapist that uses Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with my clients. DBT is what we call it.

One of the skills for emotion regulation that we use in DBT is to observe and describe. It’s one of the most helpful things for lowering your anxiety level or lowering any kind of feelings that you have that feel distressful.

It also creates a pause that shows that we don’t have to have a feeling, and then a behavior attached to it. I call this skill “Don’t Scratch the Itch.” Anyway, now that I’m talking about itching, do you notice anywhere in your body that you have an itch? Don’t scratch it!

I’m going to use it to help you. Now that I’m talking about it, I’ve got one. It’s on my lower leg. Yes, I can feel it, and so I’m going to describe it. If you can, with an itch that you have ‑‑ don’t scratch it! You’ll be tempted to ‑‑ is just describe it.

It feels like to me ‑‑ I’m going to describe mine ‑‑ as if it was the tip of a pencil right on my lower leg and it’s starting to tingle. If I could give it a color, I would call it reddish. If I could describe it, it has a prickly pulsing sensation. As I’m noticing that I’m talking about it, it’s expanding out. On the top layer of my skin, it doesn’t go very deep.

Now, I would describe the color as being blue and cool, if I could describe it in a temperature, where before, it felt hot and red. Now that I’m describing it more to you, it’s really disappeared and I really don’t have the itch anymore to scratch. That’s just an example of what happens when we don’t behave to a feeling.

A lot of times, we don’t wait that long because a feeling can go away if we don’t behave to it. What can decrease the intensity of the feeling is just observing it, describing in color, and in temperature, and in sensation.

Why don’t you practice not scratching the itch and see if you can eliminate some of the behaviors that are not going to be very helpful for you? Enjoy practicing that.

It seems like so many of us are running through life these days.  We’re busy getting from one place to another, juggling work, family and social commitments.  We don’t slow down or stop, if at all, until our heads crash on the pillow.  It’s stressful to keep up with. The good news is, finding ways to reduce stress might be simpler than you might think.

I want to encourage you to take a moment each day to listen to your body.  Pause, take a deep breath and really listen.  What is your body telling you?  Do you feel tight?  Do you feel the weight of stress on your shoulders?  Do you feel rigid or stuck?  Does it feel like you are almost holding your breath?

Sometimes a little physical movement or change is enough to release that stress in your body. What you need may be different from what someone else needs.  So, really think about what your body needs for movement and exercise.  Do you need to stretch, stand up or walk the dog?  Do you need to go to the gym or go for a bike ride?  Start with something small like a stretch and see how you feel.

Listening to your body and responding with movement, even just a simple stretch may be enough to reduce stress and change your mood for the day.

For more information on Dialectical Behavior Therapy or other stress reduction techniques, contact us at Healthy Futures today.

 

Jessica McCall:  Hi. I’m Jessica. I’m part of the Healthy Futures team. I wanted to talk to you today about healthy movement. I provide the movement groups here at Healthy Futures. I love to do different kinds of movement, bring some new stuff to the groups.

I wanted to talk to you today about listening to your body. You may have heard that phrase before. I wanted to talk about that, in particular. Listening to your body, being mindful of your body.

Too often, we’re literally running through life. We just go from one thing to the other. We don’t stop until maybe at the end of the day, sometimes not even then.

Taking a moment to pause and take a deep breath, and listen to your body. I want you to do it right now. What’s your body telling you? Is it a little tight, a little stressed out? Does it need a little stretch, a little move? Do you need to stand up? Maybe.

I want you to listen to it throughout the day and be more mindful. When we listen to our body, it’s more about tuning in to what’s going on. Are there emotions present?

Are there stressors in our life that are creating different connections and different messages that our body’s trying to tell us? We’re not listening very well.

Sometimes, it’s about I need to actually physically move and get my body going. Sometimes, it’s about I need to change something. There’s a rigidity in our behaviors and in our movement sometimes.

If you notice, the more stressful times in life, we are holding still. We’re holding our breath literally. We’re maybe stuck. There’s that rigidity. Sometimes, just moving physically can help move that forward, too, emotionally.

I want you to think about that mind‑body connection of physical movement. I don’t mean just exercise. Thinking about your definition of exercise and movement. Is it going to the gym? Is it running with a buddy? Is it walking the dog? Is it going rock climbing? Is it something different?

Is that your movement? Do you need something different? Do you just need to do a stretch every day? That’s something I would recommend every day to help you listen to your body more. How can you listen to it if you aren’t checking in with it?

Starting at the top. Doing some head, neck, and shoulders, and then stretching, and then go moving all the way to your toes is going to allow you to tune into your body and it give an opportunity to tell you what it needs.

If I need to work more on this area, I’m going to do that. Who knows? Wow, it might change my mood. It might change my whole day. I encourage stretching just to check in with your body and allow you to listen to it more.

Then it’s going to be able to tell you what it needs. Then it’s just going to create that overall health, which is going to be amazing and feel good. Do something every day.

There’s a lot of different…Everyone’s telling you do 30 minutes. Do every day. Do something. There’s so much out there, and it’s all generalities. You need to listen to your body to know what’s right for you, because everyone’s different.

Start with some stretching. Start with tuning in and being mindful of your body. Then find out what do you want to do with it. Have some fun with it. Try something different. Listen to it. How did it like it? Awesome.

My challenge today and this week, listen to your body. Do something movement-wise and check in, and see how it goes for the day. Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.

Emotions and behaviors go together.  Feel fear, take flight.  Feel angry, put up a fight.  This works great to regulate our emotions when our emotions are justified.  The cycle is complete and we come back to a balance. But, what do we do when we feel an emotion like fear, and there is no threat?  What if our bodies don’t know how to let go of that fear and therefore become unregulated again?  At those times, try to help balance emotional control by calling on the opposite behavior to flight.

So, instead of running away, maybe you stay put?  Maybe you try to become more familiar with your surroundings?  Or, maybe you watch a comedy and laugh really hard to force yourself into another emotion?  Now, you have regulated your body again and have worked through the fear.

Next time you are stuck with an emotion that is not justified, pause and think of what the opposite behavior would be to that emotion.  Then, act on that.  That little shift in behavior should help your emotional control and you feel better.

For more information or tips on DBT skills, coping skills or emotional health, contact the Healthy Futures team today.

 

Dr. Kim (Lipsman) DiRé:  Hi, my name is Kim Lipsman. Today, I’m going to talk to you about opposite emotion to action. What does that mean?

Well, we know that emotion and behavior are connected. When you’re feeling an emotion, we have a certain behavior that comes with it. For example, if you feel fearful, the action that usually goes with that is to run away. If we feel angry, the action to that, that’s connected, is to fight.

Well, sometimes that emotion is real justifiable. It really means we need to run away if a car’s coming towards us and we’re scared, or we need to really get in there and fight for ourselves and so we’re going debate or take action in order to advocate for ourselves.

Sometimes, the emotion is unjustifiable, and there really isn’t a pure threat that we can distinguish. When that happens, we want to make sure that we move to an action that’s going to be helpful for us. If we have an unjustifiable fear or emotion, then we want to move to a different behavior. If you’re feeling fearful — you’ve checked it out, there’s nothing scary around — now we want to work with that in opposite action.

Well, what’s the difference between running away, what’s the opposite of that? Ahh, staying put and maybe orienting to our surroundings, or turning on a comedy and laughing really hard, or watching a thriller movie that scares us into a different feeling or emotion.

Once we’re able to use opposite behavior to shift through an emotion that we’re feeling, then we’re able to regulate our emotions in a way that’s going to be really helpful for us.

Next time you feel something and you check out to see that it’s really not justifiable, but we want to shift it, try doing an opposite behavior and see what happens.

Are your emotions controlling you?  Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a highly effective research-based treatment designed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to help those struggling with eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and trauma to cope with life’s stresses.  It is very effective for helping people become more flexible, and fluid in their thoughts, behavior, emotions, and relationships.

DBT training will help you look at things differently in your own life.  Instead of seeing things as right or wrong or in extreme opposite terms, you’ll become more flexible.  For example, you could both want to change and actively resist changing at the same time. DBT skills will help you will learn to manage and appreciate opposites without going to the extremes.

Healthy Futures, in Scottsdale Arizona has DBT skills training classes that are taught in four to five comprehensive modules.

  • core mindfulness
  • emotion regulation
  • distress tolerance
  • interpersonal effectiveness
  • middle path skills.

And, these are offered as an active rotation so you can join a class at any time without missing any of the modules.

Within the training of DBT skills, you will learn various assumptions, which are beliefs that we abide by to help us maintain that flexible thinking.

  • People are doing the best they can.
  • People want to improve.
  • People need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change.
  • People may not have caused all their own problems, but they must solve them anyway. New behavior has to be learned in all relevant contexts.
  • All behaviors, actions, thoughts, and emotions are caused.
  • Changing the causes of behavior work much better than judging and blaming.

The DBT instructors at Healthy Futures would be happy to teach you more about how DBT skills training and how it might work for you.

Mia Elwood:  Hello, I’m Mia Elwood, a licensed clinical social worker and Director here at Healthy Futures. I’m here with co-pilot, Gus. Our purpose today is to learn a bit about DBT, which stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. If you were to take a DBT skills training class, what might that entail?

The first thing to know is a bit about DBT. DBT is a research-based treatment helping individuals and their families become more effective, flexible, and fluid in their thoughts, behavior, emotions, and relationships.

It was developed more than 20 years ago by Dr. Marsha Linehan, originally to help those suffering with borderline personality disorder and can also be used to help with other maladaptive coping.

Since then, much research has proven this treatment effective with many populations, including those struggling with eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

A second thing to know is what the word “dialectical” means. It’s a way to understand and appreciate opposites, thus allowing you to look at things differently in your own life. The easiest way I know to explain is just say it means both/and versus either/or. Also, and versus but.

If you look at these words, it helps us manage apparent opposites without going extreme, therefore leaving out flexibility. You can both want to change and actively resist changing at the same time. You can both love something and hate it at the same time, like a parent or a job, for example. You will understand this more throughout your time in DBT.

One part of a standard DBT treatment is the skills training class we offer here at Healthy Futures. We have skills training classes for teens, adults, and their family members. I am one of the DBT instructors here, along with several other awesome teachers, like Sheri, Jessica, and Dr. Kim.

What might your skills training experience be like? I’m here to answer that question for you in the hopes of you arriving at your first class with a basic knowledge of how this all works. This is what you need to know.

Skills training is taught in four to five modules or chapters. They are core mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness, middle path skills.

We have an open entry to group, meaning you will jump in wherever the class is at the time.  Expect to be a bit disoriented your first one to two groups as you catch on and catch up to where the group is at. It takes roughly 20 weeks to complete all the modules. No matter where you start, you will end after having had all the modules, as it is in active rotation during this 20 weeks. Each module takes about a month, give or take.

Let’s take a look at each module and get a general idea of what it can help you with.

Core mindfulness skills helps to keep you in the present moment and avoid judgment of reality. This helps reduce anxiety, improve relationships, improves focus, awareness, and decreases confusion about self, and helps your identity. This is a foundational skill of DBT, and it will help you with all the other modules.

Emotion regulation skills are a wonderful skillset for learning how to feel emotions more effectively. It will help you reduce mood dependent behavior and feel more in charge of your emotions.

Distress tolerance skills helps you tolerate the pain you will experience in life, rather than trying to change things or avoid the pain. These skills will help you change your current impulsive or avoiding coping skills, which can have negative consequences.

Lastly, interpersonal effectiveness skills and walking the middle path skills help to improve relationships by improving extreme thinking, feeling, and behaving in ways that can push people away. It arms family members with more effective ways to interact with one another. It helps with setting boundaries and asking for the things you need.

Another thing to understand is DBT’s biosocial theory of emotion dysregulation. Emotional sensitivity or vulnerability is biological. It is simply how people are born. They are more sensitive to emotional stimuli. They experience emotions much more often than others. They experience emotions much more intensely, and it takes them longer to return to baseline.

Impulsivity also can have a biological basis. Regulating behavior is harder for some than others. Then, we look at how this emotional vulnerability interacts with the environment. An invalidating social environment can make it very hard to regulate emotions.

What’s an invalidating environment? An invalidating environment doesn’t seem to understand your emotions. Instead, this type of environment tells you your emotions are inappropriate or wrong.

This tends to lead to self-invalidation as if you seem to bet the odd one out. Then people tend to try to adapt to their environment. You just might be the tulip in the rose garden, and you might try to do your best to be a rose and make being a tulip wrong.

Another important point is to understand that people who invalidate are often doing the best they can. They haven’t learned anything different. It was the way they grew up. Most people don’t have a working, functional understanding of emotions or how they work.

It’s these transactions between person and environment over time that tends to lead to the symptoms you might be struggling with and the conflict in your environment.

Now, we’re going to learn the DBT assumptions. These are ways of believing, here called assumptions as they cannot be proved, but we agree to abide by them anyway.

Number one, people are doing the best they can. Number two, people want to improve. Number three, people need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change.

Number four, people may not have caused all their own problems, but they have to solve them anyway. Number five, new behavior has to be learned in all relevant contexts. You need to practice these skills in the context they are needed, not just in the classroom.

Number six, all behaviors, actions, thoughts, and emotions are caused. We often don’t know the causes but, number seven, figure it out. Changing the causes of behavior work much better than judging and blaming.

Finally, practically speaking, you show up for a DBT skills class. What might you expect? Here’s how it usually goes. First, some type of warm up exercise or mindfulness activity invites us to engage in the here and now and gets us ready for learning.

Second, homework review of last week’s lesson will occur. You will be expected to share how you practiced the skills taught the previous week. You’ll be supported in acquiring these new skills by other peers and by your instructor. Any questions about struggling with applying these skills are welcomed, as this is how you learn. Next, the week’s skill will be taught followed by assigning homework so you can go home and practice.

Thanks for learning a bit about how DBT skills training might work for you. We’ll see you in class!

Many people ask themselves, “Why me? Why did this happen? Why am I like this?”  But, when we answer these questions, we tap into our shame and guilt.  This leads to negative thinking that we are a terrible person.

Instead, when you ask why, ask a different question.  Ask, “How can I?”  Turn it into a motivational question that can lead to finding a solution.  “How can I find a solution to this problem? How can I learn from this?”  This will take the blame off you and give you some control in solving your problem with a positive solution.

The questions you ask yourself can change your thinking and change your life to a more positive future.  Dr. Kim DiRé, a Psychotherapist from Healthy Futures in Scottsdale explains this in the following video.  Contact Healthy Futures in Scottsdale if you would like to change your future to something more positive and visit our website at https://healthyfuturesaz.com/index.html

Dr. Kim DiRé:  Hello. My name is Dr. Kim DiRé. Oftentimes, patients come into my office and they ask the question why? “Why me? Why did this happen? Why am I like this?”

I’m going to offer to you a new way to be when you hear why or when you ask why. Oftentimes, why, we answer it like, “I’m awful.” We tap into our shame and guilt by answering why. “I’m a terrible person because I did this awful thing in my past.”

I offer that when you ask why, that’s a prompt to a cue to asking a question of, “How can I? How can I become more motivational, become a way to a solution?” Instead of why me, or how can I move to this difficult situation, or how can I learn from this. Use the how can I to find a solution that’s more meaningful. It takes the blame off of you.

The next time you ask the question why, try asking, how can I, and see how fast you come up with a positive solution. Thank you.

How’s it going to turn out?  So many of us catastrophize our futures.  We think it’s going to turn out terrible and let our minds go to the negative.  But, that’s our imagination talking.

Just like we imagine a negative outcome, we can imagine a positive outcome.  Let your imagination work in your favor.  Start imagining what it would be like if you had a best-case scenario or outcome.  It’s a skill you can develop that can lead you to a positive future.  Give it a try.

In the following video, Dr. Kim DiRé, a Psychotherapist from Healthy Futures elaborates on the what if game and its consequences.  For more information about achieving a positive future, contact us at Healthy Futures and visit our website at https://healthyfuturesaz.com/mental-health-care/

 

Dr. DiRé:  Hi, my name is Dr. Kim DiRé, and today I want to talk to you about catastrophizing. We all do it. We think in the future in our imagination and we think, “Oh, it’s gonna turn out terrible!” Or we think about what ifs and we think of what ifs to the negative. But, if we’re going to do that, it’s all done in imagination.

Guess what? We can do it in imagination to our favor. So, when you start doing the what ifs and you notice that you plan out the future in your imagination that’s going to go awry, you can change that. You can use your imagination to say, “What if,” and make it the best scenario and the best outcome.

Or, I’ll stay out of the future, but I just want you to use your imagination in the positive to stop catastrophizing in imagination in the future. Thank you.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, also known as DBT, helps clients gain skills they can use in stressful moments.  Often times we go let our minds play the “what if” game and it takes us to a negative place.  “What if I don’t get the job?”  And the stressful moment becomes worse just imagining the bad that would come of that.

With DBT training, you can use imagination to help improve the moment.  Imagination is a fascinating thing that we all use.  We take something in our mind and create a pictorial story.  If you can capture the skill of imagination, you can use it to send positive messages and better sensations to your body.

The next time you play the “what if” game, use imagination to imagine a positive outcome.  See yourself thinking about the job, interviewing for the job and getting the job.  The  sensations you send your body will actually help you get that job, and you’ll feel less stressed.

Using imagination is one of the life skills you can learn with DBT training.  In the following video, Dr. Kim DiRe, a Psychotherapist from Healthy Futures explains more.  If you would like to find a skills for life class based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy, contact us and visit our website at https://healthyfuturesaz.com/


Dr. Kim DiRe:  Hi. My name is Kim DiRe’ and I’m a psychotherapist. I use Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, to help clients work with skills that they can use in stressful moments, or times when they need to regulate.

One of the skills is to improve the moment. One of the improve the moment skills is to use imagination. Imagination’s a fascinating thing because we all use it. We take something in our mind and we create a story with it that doesn’t have a sight in order to tell the story, but something that gives us a picture in our mind. Children use it all the time. If you can capture the skill of imagination, you can use it to your benefit to set up great things that are going to be inspirational and send better sensations to your body.

Oftentimes, we use imagination to do the what ifs and the negative, but here’s how we could use it to what ifs in the positive and create something that’s going to be helpful. Let’s say, for example, you’re applying for a job. If you use your imagination to think about the job – sitting in that job, getting the job, getting the call from the job, that you’ve got it – then how it feels to have this job and be successful, that’s going to inspire you and give you sensations that will help you in the interview, and even the motivation to fill out the application in the first place.

Oftentimes, we use the motivation or imagination to the negative, where we’re going, “What if I don’t get the job?” If you’re going to do that what if, do it to the positive, because in our imagination we can change all kinds of things. Make sure you change it to your favor, and try imagination for the next time you want to start to feel better, using sensations from your imagination, to give a reality to something that’s going to be successful or beneficial for you.

Thank you.