Whatever we pay attention to…..our emotions follow. Sometimes clients need the ability to shift their emotional state before they can connect to what really matters and respond from their values. Several skills taken from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) allow clients to dial down their emotions in the moment of choice. For example, through relaxation and self-soothing, clients can downshift their levels of activation. Using radical acceptance and coping thoughts, they can learn to shift perspective and defuse from painful content. And using distraction or time outs, they can practice shifting attention away from emotion triggers so they can recover and reconnect with their values.
Mindful Coping in EET is practiced differently than DBT coping skills in that they are only used after the client first practices Mindful Acceptance— observing and allowing all parts of the emotional experience. This allows clients to become more skillful at understanding what they need to to flexibly navigate difficult emotional experiences, even when they can’t yet identify values-based action.