Distress Tolerance

Overpowering emotions can get in the way of managing our lives. Even if we know how our emotions work, what they do for us and we can identify them effectively, it can still be hard to manage when they feel out of control. This course is all about learning how to survive intense emotions and reduce emotional activation rapidly. You will learn to work out when you need to treat your emotion as the emergency, and a toolkit of emotional first aid tools.


The next course starts Thursday 4th November 2021 2.30-4.30pm Eastern, 7.30-9.30pm GMT and runs for 7 weeks.


£280 / $400

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.

Pay now in USD


Pay now in GBP


What will I have to do?

You will attend a 2-hour session each week 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 relationship with their emotions and their body.

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 the distress tolerance course cover?

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 – TIPP skills

This week is all about changing your body to change your brain.  

Week 3 – Improve the moment and self soothing

This week is all about a mix of cognitive and body based skills to cope with a crisis.

Week 4 – Radical acceptance

This is all about recognizing that the world is as it is in this present moment. It is finding ways to accept uncomfortable and even hellish realities as they are.  

Week 5 – Turning the mind and wise mind

This is all about reinforcing radical acceptance with turning your mind towards the reality you are accepting and away from denial and avoidance. We will also touch in more detail on the concept of ‘wise mind’, our inner wisdom that we find between logical and emotion minds.

Week 6 – Willingness and wilfulness

This week is all about recognizing feelings of willfulness and willingness without judgement.  

Week 7 – Mindfulness of current thoughts

This week is all about learning that the content of your thoughts doesn’t mean anything in particular about you. It is about seeing your thoughts (and emotions) as part but not all of you.