Some feelings and emotions are difficult to articulate through words. Sometimes we might not know what exactly the feeling or the emotion is that we are experiencing at the moment. Art is a tool that one can use to express those unresolved and unexplained feelings. There is no right or wrong way to express one's feelings through art. Hence, there is no right or wrong answer in art. And that is the beauty of it.
Let’s say that you are given a blank canvas and some paint. That canvas is wholly yours to use. You don’t need to be an artist or even creative to be able to use art as a tool. Everything that you draw, paint, create, build, and pour into the canvas is your own unique piece of art. This is your opportunity to concentrate on yourself in a creative manner. You own that canvas, and you get to choose the colors, shapes, images, and symbols that fit your own ideal world.
Through self-expression you will learn more about yourself, and be able to communicate unexplored feelings, emotions, thoughts, and problems in a non-judgmental manner. It provides you with freedom to show your true self. It is a stress reducing and self-esteem and self-awareness increasing activity that anyone can engage in. Followed with the completed art piece you will also be given guidance that will help you furtherly explore your unconscious which will be a healing process.
Art is a beautiful tool that everyone regardless of their age, gender, race, and cultural background can be engaged in. The beauty of having no wrong or right answer will provide the space for personal growth.
Weighing the Pros and Cons: A Helpful Distress Tolerance Skill By: Alyssa Pammer Clinical Trainee
Pros and Cons can function as a beneficial distress tolerance skill in DBT. As with other distress
tolerance skills, Pros and Cons are often used in crisis situations. It can aid in helping us avoid
acting impulsively while weighing the pros and cons of the impulsive decision at hand. Instead
of acting impulsively, making the pros and cons list can help us act skillfully. It shows us that
better results pan out by making a skillful decision with our pain, rather than an impulsive
decision with our pain. It’s most common to use pros and cons when we have to participate in
something that we really don’t want to do.
The most common way to use the pros and cons skill is to make a pros and cons list. Most
people, at one point in their life, have made a pros and cons list about a decision. In DBT, we can
make a pros and cons list of our impulsive decisions and maladaptive behaviors.
In order to make this list, we can pick a maladaptive or impulsive behavior that we typically
engage in. First, we would make a pros and cons list of specifically engaging in the behavior. We
may ask ourselves, what good can come out of engaging in the behavior, and what negative
consequences can result as a part of engaging in the behavior? Then, we would make an
additional pros and cons list. This list will be for the same behavior, but we would evaluate the
pros and cons of not participating in the impulsive behavior.
While making the list, we can also consider both the short and long-term consequences of
engaging vs. not engaging in impulsive behavior. A way to do this on this list would be to signify
“ST” for short term, and “LT” for long term next to specific statements on the list. This shows us
that our behaviors can provide short-term relief, but may cause long-term conflict. By labeling
behaviors as short-term or long-term, we can also identify maladaptive patterns within our
behaviors, and learn to challenge them. Once we identify these patterns, we can skillfully find
ways to integrate new coping strategies in replacement of maladaptive and impulsive behaviors.
Pros and cons lists are often created before a behavior occurs, likely in therapy with a DBT
therapist. The list can then be used in a moment of distress, when there is an impulsive urge to
act upon a behavior. We can refer to the list that we made in a time of clear-minded thinking,
instead of using an emotional mind to make a decision.
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