The Lighter Side of Transformation

Observed and reported by Lisa Wessan, LICSW

Westford, MA: New DBT Skills Groups (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) start 10/26/17 and 12/14/17

dbt-skills

Good news! For those of you who have been waiting to get into one of our DBT Groups, there are several openings in our daytime DBT Skills Group starting October 26, 2017,  Thursdays from 3:15 – 4:45 PM at my office in the beautiful Westford Center for Counseling and Holistic Therapies, 234 Littleton Road, Suite 1D, Westford, MA.

This group is co-ed/non-binary, mature teens, trans and adults welcome, and is limited to 10 participants per group. One initial consultation  with me is required prior to joining the group, plus the completion of some DBT Skills registration forms. To get started, click HERE or call me at 978.710.8039.

For this next trimester, we will be studying Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance from the DBT Skills curriculum.

Why do I teach DBT Skills?

Over the years, I have seen outstanding evidence of how DBT helps to rewire our brains with gentle cognitive restructuring exercises, reduce inflammatory thoughts and untangle our irrational beliefs and interpretations — which cause so much pain and suffering — all in a relatively short time span.  DBT is Solution Focused Therapy at its best!

DBT includes powerful and easy relaxation techniques for anxiety; a large array of tools for depression and mood issues; and effective communication and boundary setting skills which make this a brilliant vehicle for interpersonal effectiveness, peak performance and personal growth.

Four leaf DBT

ANNUAL OVERVIEW

[This is a one year program divided into three 14-week trimesters. Students decide to renew their commitment towards the end of each trimester.]

Each trimester delves into Mindfulness plus one of the remaining three main modules of DBT, which are Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness (see diagram above). We repeat the Mindfulness module at the beginning of each semester to reinforce the powerful foundational skills it offers for general anxiety (Kabat-Zinn et al, 1992).

 

2017 – 2018 GENERAL CALENDAR

 [Dates are subject to change, due to snow days and other factors.]

UP NEXT: Daytime Group: October 26, 2017 – January 25, 2018. Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance.  Practical tools and skills are explored to process “crisis” emotions, impulse issues and more difficult feelings. We also cover Radical Acceptance, Turning Willfulness to Willingness, and moving from destructive self-harm to positive self-care (especially useful for the “Holiday Red Zone,” Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve!)

Evening Group: December 14, 2017 – March 29, 2018.  Mindfulness and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Through discussions, readings and interactive exercises you will be learning to set healthy boundaries, learning to say “YES” when you mean yes and “NO” when you mean no without worrying about getting others’ approval.  You will  learn how to become bulletproof to others invalidation of you, and learn to be a self-validating person.  The art of asking for what you want and negotiating well  is also explored. In addition, we study various forms of interpersonal protection, e.g. emotional safety skills, learning to identify  Energy Vampires (Orloff, 2004) and recover well from their hurtful and draining interactions.

Daytime and Evening Groups: April – July 2018.  Mindfulness and Emotion Regulation. Learning to identify your vast array of feelings, articulate them and express emotions appropriately is part of this powerful work. Also, learning to check the facts, edit misinterpretations and assumptions, and turn down the volume on your intense emotions yet still experience them. You will learn to regulate your emotions successfully, so that you have a more positive experience of feeling better and stronger.

TUITION

Each trimester is $700 for 14 weeks (watch for the Early Bird rate which usually expires two weeks before each trimester).

** It is a requirement of this group that participants are working with an individual therapist while they attend the group. The therapist does not need to be me, nor does the therapist need to be trained in DBT, but will be available for all processing outside the group. (Release forms will be sent to you and/or your therapist after the Initial Consultation with me).

I hope I can be of service to you, your clients or loved ones who would benefit from this group in the greater north Boston/Nashoba Valley area.

Learn more about the details of this DBT Skills Group by visiting my web site, www.lisawessan.com.  Also, please feel free to contact me for further information.

Onward and Upward,

Lisa Wessan

 

DBT Mindfulness

__________________________________________________________________________
References

Kabat-Zinn, J., Massion, A. O., Kristeller, J., Peterson, L. G., Fletcher, K. E., Pbert, L., et al. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 936–943.

Orloff, Judith, MD. (2004). Positive Energy.   New York: Random House.  Chapter 9, The Ninth Prescription:  Protect Yourself from Energy Vampires.  288 – 318.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

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Quote: There are two kinds of addicts…

There are two kinds of addicts: those who are doomed, and those who know they are doomed. – Anonymous

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Funny Thanksgiving quotes…

“Thanksgiving is the day when you turn to another family member and say, ‘How long has Mom been drinking like this?’ My Mom, after six Bloody Marys looks at the turkey and goes, Here, kitty, kitty.” – David Letterman

“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” – Jon Stewart

“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.” – Johnny Carson

“Thanksgiving is a magical time of year when families across the country join together to raise America’s obesity statistics. Personally, I love Thanksgiving traditions: watching football, making pumpkin pie, and saying the magic phrase that sends your aunt storming out of the dining room to sit in her car.” – Stephen Colbert

“Thanksgiving. It’s like we didn’t even try to come up with a tradition. The tradition is, we overeat. ‘Hey, how about at Thanksgiving we just eat a lot?’ ‘But we do that every day!’ ‘Oh. What if we eat a lot with people that annoy the hell out of us?'”
– Jim Gaffigan

May you and your loved ones eat less, exercise more and be as authentic as possible with your families — in safety — LOL, today is 34 days off sugar, flour and alcohol for me, looking forward to feeling lean and serene during and after this holiday…food is not fun for many of us! You know who you are…join me this Thanksgiving in living lighter and with more freedom…with a big AMEN for our health prayers.

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Lisa Wessan’s hotline review…

Lisa Wessan’s hotline review…Suicidal? Homicidal? PMS? Boozer? Tune in @ 10 AM for the lighter side of hotlines….listen here.

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Funny thoughts on famous foodies

Post Yom Kippur must read! LOL from the last word: What the great ate….
http://ow.ly/2GniG

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What is the Internet is Doing to Our Brains?

I know I’m not alone in wondering how the internet is changing the way I think, write, respond and create in this world. But I choose to believe that it’s all for the good, that this is part of our evolution. I might be wrong.

More and more documentation is showing that advanced internet use does decrease our attention spans, although it may improve our analytic skills. I’m at the point where I can’t write as smoothly in longhand (and my penmanship is nearly an illegible code), whereas in front of the keyboard I feel lucid and quick. I used to think I was just a kinesthetic learner — but there’s more to it. I need to be able to sit at a keyboard to think about certain subjects with maximum focus. I am clearly conditioned to work with several web pages open at once, fact checking and spell checking as I go.

The research is mounting….pros and cons…this is a good overview of the issues in this recent clip from Scientific American (June 15, 2010).

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What are mirror neurons?

For years I didn’t know how I knew certain things…numerical answers in a math teacher’s verbal pop quiz, the answers to a tour guide’s question, “How many floors are there in this building?” and other strange trivia that would just pop into my head — was I telepathic? A psychic? Well, now there is emerging research concerning “mirror neurons,” and I’m very excited because this would explain how I have done some bizarre learning in my day.

The most freakish experience was being in Egypt, and understanding Arabic so well — without ever studying it. I thought perhaps this was evidence of past life experience –but now, it could just be that I have a whopping dose of mirror neurons! I’m going to study this and see where it goes…

If you’re in the same boat, here’s a good overview of current mirror neuron research from the New York Times

For those of us with a high emotional IQ, e.g. deep empathy and strong reaction to others’ emotions, we need to be extra careful that our mirror neurons don’t harm us from exposure to intense toxic emotions or violent scenes….we need to be discerning about our film, television and media choices. And what about difficult people? We all need more protection from abrasive humans…but if we are loaded with mirror neurons we really need to avoid spending too much time with these folks, or our health is seriously at risk.

For addictive personalities with a high load of mirror neurons, this would explain the real danger in being among people, places and things that are using the substance du jour. Smokers, food addicts, alcoholics, cocaine and narcotic abusers are particularly vulnerable to be in proximity of their substances if their mirror neuron load is high…

Not too far in the future there will probably be an index or scale for measuring mirror neuron activity on our brains. This will help all of us — especially addicts — to practice better self-care with NO GUILT. For today, isn’t it nice to know you can sleep better and be healthier by monitoring your mirror neuron exposure…Yes, once again I am reminded that “There are no victims, only volunteers!”

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