Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness in Regulating Emotions

One of the areas that appears to be important in reregulating emotions after a period of dysfunction is called mindfulness training (Hayes, Follette, & Linehan, 2004; Spradlin, 2003). Here the person is taught to pay specific attention to what is happening in the instant moment rather than focusing on past events or worrying about the future. Mindfulness training appears to be helpful for those people who have developed PTSD and accompanying dissociative disorders that cause someone to be reexperi-encing the trauma or blocking it from one's mind through dissociation. Staying focused on the present helps people concentrate on making good decisions because it regulates their emotions so that they cannot interfere with thinking patterns. Since interpersonal relationships are often disrupted when the person is unable to regulate emotions, mindfulness training can also help the person begin to develop support systems to help them through future crises. We discuss this further in Chapter 7, where we describe techniques useful in intervention programs with women whose emotions do not reregulate easily after an abortion.

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