DBT Skills for Emotional Dysregulation in Psychosis: A Clinical Case Study


United States Department of Homeland Security

Key Points

  1. Even though psychosis has been historically conceptualized as a thought disorder, there is a strong correlation between emotion dysregulation and psychotic episodes. Therefore, emotion regulation work needs to be prioritized within DBT treatment.
  2. When teaching DBT skills to clients with psychosis, it’s important to normalize psychotic symptoms and make skills work as concrete and user friendly as possible.
  3. When teaching mindfulness skills in particular, it’s especially important to have clients practice in very small time segments of just a few minutes at a time in contrast to longer, more formal, or more traditional meditative practices.
  4. Clients are encouraged to practice mindfulness with their own inner psychotic experiences, such as delusions and hallucinations. However, if this is too triggering, they can also practice mindfulness on something more tangible/grounding in their external physical environment.

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DBT Skills for Emotional Dysregulation in Psychosis: A Clinical Case Study

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