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  1. #1
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    What are the choices?

    What are the choices? ? Building a Life worth living
    March 7, 2011; Retrieved 2/14/2012

    Recently, I’ve been struggling to see the choices in the situation. I know that the suggestion that we have choices at all can feel very invalidating, even insulting. But I keep looking for choices, because the reality of having choices is utterly liberating.

    I looked through an old folder tonight for some diary cards. I have fallen hard off the DBT wagon, so hard that I’m being dragged along the ground behind the wretched wagon, and the skills diary card is my first step back on. In the folder, I found this:

    There are five choices:


    1. Change the trigger (= solve the problem)
    2. Change your feelings (= your response)
    3. Use radical acceptance
    4. Keep suffering
    5. Make things worse (= engage in target behaviour)

    I’m not sure where I saw this and scribbled it down from. But I’m so very glad I did. I can see I have made progress; I rarely choose number 5 any more. But I am choosing number 4 all too often. These wise words will be written on my phone and stuck on my mirror. I couldn’t see any choices, and now I have five. Well, three, hopefully!

  2. #2
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    Re: What are the choices?

    I'm not a complete adherent to DBT, but I went through a hospitalization 3 years ago in which the principles were taught by people who practiced them. I bought into the idea that I could strengthen myself emotionally by using the techniques. I still believe that part of the process of healing involves talk psychotherapy to discover hidden meanings and rearrange thoughts, and put memories into perspective. However, the techniques of self-observation and radical acceptance really do help - particularly in a short term crisis.

    If I were a therapist I would use both - DBT for short term relief, but use traditional psychotherapy for longer term solutions to help develop self-awareness and insight. I don't think self-observation comes easily without the insight that longer term therapy gives. In other words, how can you see yourself clearly unless you know yourself ? Going through the process of transference and counter-transference with a skilled therapist makes the DBT techniques that much more effective.

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