This group is exclusively for queer and disabled people (you may identify as neurodivergent or chronically ill too). It has run weekly or fortnightly since 2017 with some breaks in the summer and in December. It is a peer supported group working through Dialectical Behaviour Therapy skills. It is run on a ‘pay what you can’ basis & money contributes to a mutual aid fund. Since our group is disproportionately white, we are currently only accepting new members who are also people of colour.
Next block starts 14th September 2021 11.30am-1pm Eastern, 4.30-6pm BST.
What will I have to do?
You will attend a 90 minute 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 below.
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.
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.