Consensual non monogamy can be absolutely wonderful. It can open our lives to more love and connection and happiness. Unfortunately, it also comes with a set of challenges that can intensify distressing emotions and make interpersonal relationships challenging in new and different ways. Often, we were raised in families with little space for difficult emotions, direct communication and productive conflict. This means that few of us are equipped with the skills to manage our own emotions, or hold space for the way our loved ones feel – even though we really want to!
This course is all about learning psychological skills to help you to cope with some of the more challenging aspects of polyamory. It will take a whistle stop tour through some of DBT’s most influential & useful skills. We will start with the DBT approach to mindfulness, move on to Distress Tolerance, then a couple of emotion regulation skills before finishing up working on interpersonal effectiveness. You can think of the course as a way of expanding your emotional first aid kit, and giving you some new skills to help you when facing distress and interpersonal difficulties.
The next course starts 21st September 2021, 2.30-4.30 EST; 7.30-9.30pm GMT. It runs for 10 weeks
£400 (GBP) / $500 (USD). 10% off for people signing up by 20th March 2021. £360 (GBP) / $450 (USD). Reserve your place with a deposit of $/£100
Pay your deposit now in USD
Pay your deposit now in GBP
If you would like to attend this course but are not able to pay the full fee please contact me and we will try to work something out. Sign up here.
What will I have to do?
You will attend a 2-hour session each week for 10 weeks and complete homework between sessions – this usually takes between 20 minutes and an hour. You will be invited to join a slack channel where additional resources will be posted and you will be invited to ask any questions that you have.
What do you do in a group meeting?
We start with a mindfulness exercise, then in each session after the first we would go through the homework and discuss each of our experiences with it. Then we would have a 5-10 minute break. After the break, we would learn a new skill in one of the areas I describe above.
Is this group therapy?
No, its learning new skills. I’m here to facilitate learning, on the understanding that we are peers that are seeking to learn these skills together. Each participant is an expert in their life, and will have a different relationship to the skills. This group is about learning more options for dealing with emotions and the challenges that we face in life.
Do I need to have a diagnosis to come to this group?
Absolutely not. DBT assumes that some people have a harder time coping with emotions than others, and managing impulses or behaviours. It suggests some of this is biological, but some comes from an invalidating social environment. Sadly, many of us live within one of those! Especially if we are queer, sex workers, people of colour, disabled etc.
Who will be there?
The group will have no more than 20 participants. If more than 20 people are interested in attending then a second group will be set up.
Who is this for?
This course is for people who are interested in developing resilience, living authentically and improving their relationships (and ending toxic ones).
Who is this course not for?
People that want quick fixes, people that don’t want to do homework or practice skills and people that will judge the life choices of others in the group.
What will we learn on the DBT for non monogamy course?
Lots of the examples in this course will relate to non-monogamy, and you’re welcome to bring in examples from your own lives. The course is focused on building skills that you can apply in your own life to make things better.
Week 1 – Orientation and mindfulness
This is all about understanding the DBT approach, the rules of skills groups and the approach that DBT takes to mindfulness.
Week 2 – Crisis survival skills
This week is all about developing skills to survive a crisis including the TIPP skills, self soothing and IMPROVE. These are skills to use in moments of overwhelming emotion – which can come in really handy when you’re struggling emotion that you aren’t able to cope with.
Week 3 – Radical acceptance and turning the mind
This week is all about working out what you need to accept as a fact in your life. These may be a starting point for change, but acceptance has to come first. This doesn’t mean acquiescence or approval, but it does mean recognising reality – even when it is unwanted.
Week 4 – The emotion cycle & myths about emotion
This week is all about understanding the emotion cycle and debunking some myths about emotions that we might hold onto. You’ll get a chance to think about what myths affect you (including a few about non monogamy) and how you might shift to more helpful beliefs. You will also have some time thinking about the pro’s and con’s of changing emotions.
Week 5 – Check the facts
This week is all about moving from awareness of your emotion towards changing your emotion. You will learn a process to work through an emotional situation. This skill is a critical starting point for working out whether to address your emotion with opposite action or problem solving.
Week 6 – Opposite action and problem solving
This week is all about finding ways to change your emotions. Sometimes this will mean solving a practical problem, at others it will be all about feeling the emotion while acting in opposition to it.
Week 7 – Accumulating positives and building mastery
This week is all about identifying your values and finding ways of incorporating them into your life in big and small ways. Pleasant events are an important part of creating a life worth living, and making sure that you are looking after your emotional health.
Week 8 – Interpersonal myths and goals
This week is all about exploring the myths that can get in the way of effective interpersonal relationships. We will move onto looking at interpersonal goals and figuring out whether an objective, the relationship or your self respect is the most important in a given interaction.
Week 9 – DEARMAN, FAST
This week we will focus on what to do when the objective or your self respect is the most important goal in a situation.
Week 10 – GIVE and the dime game
This week we will look at what to do when maintaining or improving the relationship is the most important goal in a situation. We will then move on to look at how to work out the intensity of a request that you are making of someone (or the ‘no’ you are giving).