DBT Coping Skills for Depression

A close up of wooden blocks that spell DBT. Learn how a DBT therapist in Torrance, CA can offer support via online DBT therapy and more. Search for EMDR therapy for depression in Las Vegas, NV, and more.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on teaching you skills to cope with stress, regulate emotions, and improve your relationships with others. Originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, DBT has since been adapted to help you manage various mental health conditions, including depression.

A woman appears upset while staring off into the distance. Learn how a DBT therapist in Torrance, CA can offer support with online DBT therapy and other services. Search for a DBT therapist in Los Angeles, CA today. DBT is super popular and well-researched for treating depression. It’s designed for you if you deal with intense emotions, struggle to manage them, and often have negative self-judgments. The goal of DBT is to help you develop new skills to handle these challenges more effectively. How? By teaching you specific coping skills in four main areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mindfulness Skills

Mindfulness is all about being present and truly living in the moment. In today’s hectic world, you might often stress about the future or dwell on past mistakes. Practicing mindfulness can ground you in the present, offering peace and clear-headedness. These skills are especially helpful if you struggle with depression, as they can interrupt rumination and negative self-talk. If you’re tech-savvy, you might enjoy mindfulness apps like Headspace or Calm. Alternatively, you could prefer traditional meditation techniques or yoga. Here are some techniques to get you started:

  • Deep breathing: Take deep, slow breaths in and out. Focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body.
  • Body scan: Close your eyes and focus on each part of your body, starting from the top of your head and slowly working down to your toes. Notice any areas that feel tense or uncomfortable.  Relax those areas by consciously releasing the tension.
  • Five senses check-in: Use your five senses to ground yourself in the present. Notice five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

How Mindfulness Helps with Depression

Mindfulness lets you notice your thoughts and feelings without judging them, which is super helpful for dealing with negative self-talk. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to let go of self-critical thoughts and stay focused on the present. It helps you stop endless thinking and creates space for more productive thoughts.

Plus, it boosts your self-awareness and acceptance, key elements in managing depression. For instance, if you’re feeling depressed and have the thought, “I’m worthless,” practicing mindfulness can help you acknowledge the thought without accepting it as true. You can then focus on redirecting your thoughts to something more positive or engaging in a self-care activity.

Distress Tolerance Skills

Feeling overwhelmed during intense emotional distress is common. That’s the cue for distress tolerance skills. They guide you through tough times without worsening the situation. These skills are crucial for managing depression, as they steer you away from unhealthy coping mechanisms like self-harm or substance abuse. Here are a few techniques to start with:

  • Self-soothing: Try comforting activities like a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, or snuggling with your pet.
  • Positive self-talk: Tell yourself things like “I got this” or “Everything’s gonna be fine.” Think about past wins and what you’re good at.
  • A close up of a person sitting in a meditative pose on a beach. Learn how a DBT therapist in Torrance, CA can offer support with DBT therapy in Las Vegas, NV and other services. Learn more about online DBT therapy today. Sensory grounding: Use your five senses to anchor yourself in the now. Feel different textures, listen to soothing sounds, or enjoy a nice smell.
  • Acceptance statements: Recognize the situation for what it is and understand that some things are beyond your control. Phrases like “It is what it is” or “This too shall pass” can be helpful.

How Distress Tolerance Helps with Depression

Distress tolerance skills offer quick relief from intense emotions. When you’re feeling depressed, it can be hard to believe that things will get better. These skills help you cope with the present moment while building resilience and preventing negative behaviors. They also increase your self-confidence and ability to handle future distress.

Emotion Regulation Skills

Understanding and managing emotions is challenging, especially if you struggle with depression. Emotion regulation skills help you identify and cope with intense emotions. These skills can be particularly useful for those who tend to suppress or avoid their feelings. Here are some techniques you can try:

  • Identifying and labeling emotions: Notice when you’re feeling a certain way and try to put a label on that emotion. It can help to write it down.
  • Opposite action: When you have the urge to do something unhelpful, try doing the opposite. For example, if you feel like isolating yourself, make plans to spend time with a friend.
  • Check the Facts: Before reacting emotionally, see if your feelings match the facts. Are you jumping to conclusions? Do you have evidence for your thoughts?
  • Problem-solving: If there’s an issue causing your distress, use problem-solving skills to address it. Break the problem down into smaller steps and come up with potential solutions.

How Managing Emotions Can Help with Depression

Emotions can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with depression. Learning how to regulate them can give you a sense of control and help prevent negative behaviors. By identifying and acknowledging your emotions, you can choose healthier ways to cope with them rather than avoiding or suppressing them.

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

Creating and keeping healthy relationships is key to your mental health. With interpersonal skills, you can have better interactions and build meaningful connections. Good relationships give you emotional support and help you feel less isolated, which is super helpful when you’re facing depression. Here are some techniques to try:

  • DEAR MAN: This acronym stands for Describe, Express, Assert, Reinforce, (stay) Mindful, Appear confident, Negotiate. Use it when you need to ask for something or set a boundary.
  • GIVE: Give an easy way to remember how to keep relationships healthy: Be Gentle, Act Interested, Validate emotions, and use an Easy manner.
  • FAST: Use this acronym to check if you’re respecting your own boundaries in relationships. Be Fair, no Apologies, Stick to values, and (be) Truthful.

Interpersonal Effectiveness Can Help with Depression

Depression can make it tough to keep up with relationships. Therefore, this often results in loneliness and isolation. By building up your interpersonal skills, you can communicate better and form stronger bonds with others. This can give you a sense of belonging and support when things get rough. Plus, these skills can help you set boundaries and stand up for yourself in relationships, fostering self-respect and self-esteem.

Seeking Support

A woman with a clipboard gestures while sitting across from another woman. Learn more about the help a DBT therapist in Los Angeles, CA can offer by searching for DBT therapy in Las Vegas. Online DBT therapy can help you learn and practice essential skills. Working with a DBT therapist in Torrance, CA, provides a safe space to explore and manage your emotions effectively. With a therapist’s guidance, you can develop coping strategies for depression and build a fulfilling life. Remember, having a daily support system is crucial—reach out to friends, and family, engage in your community, and consider joining a support group. Seeking help can make all the difference in managing your mental health and rediscovering joy in life.

However, if you are experiencing suicidal, seeking specific treatment of suicidal thoughts in Torrance, CA can provide the support and care you need. However, if you need immediate help or are in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for confidential and free support available 24/7. Remember, there is always hope and help available.

Enhance Your Coping Skills with A DBT Therapist in Torrance, CA & Las Vegas, NV

Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health concern, DBT therapy can provide valuable skills to help you manage your emotions and live a fulfilling life. Online DBT therapy offers the convenience of accessing these skills from anywhere and provides a supportive environment for growth and healing. The DBT Center of the South Bay offers online DBT therapy in Torrance, CA, to help you learn and practice these skills. Start working with a caring therapist by:

  1. Reach out to us using the contact form to schedule an appointment to see if EMDR therapy is right for you
  2. Meet with a caring therapist
  3. Cope with difficult emotions and improve your quality of life!

Other Services at DBT Center of South Bay

DBT Center of the South Bay has helped many people find the motivation to live fuller, more connected lives. In addition to providing EMDR Therapy to help you overcome your trauma, anxiety, depression, and more, I provide treatment options using DBT Therapy for adults to help with managing anger, social isolation, and loneliness. I also specialize in helping those experiencing suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors. I also provide Borderline Personality Disorder Therapy for those struggling to manage their BPD symptoms. Located in Las Vegas, NV, and Torrance, CA, you can access my services from anywhere in the states of California and Nevada using online therapy.