DBT and danger cues : Dissociative Identity Disorder Forum

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DBT and danger cues : Dissociative Identity Disorder Forum



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DBT and danger cues

Postby birdsong87 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:53 am



We’ve been learning a lot about the polyvagal theory, like the latest research on trauma and the nervous system.
basically it says that we leave the safe and social system when there are cues of danger and enter either flight/fight or freeze, depending on the circumstances.
Strictly speaking the ‘hard’ or high level DBT skills are danger cues.
inflicting harmless pain, cold pads, smelling salts, chili or intensely sour stuff, bright lights…
they kind of work but then …
We feel like there is a limit and at some point it will just be perceived as another danger cue that will increase the dissociation/stress response.
Before we write an essay on that we wanted to ask you about your experiences with the high level DBT skills. are they helping? when? when not? Do you prefer to use something else?
Asti&L

Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com


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Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby fireheart » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:16 am

For us, they work/are needed when the depersonalization/dissociation doesn’t make “sense”. When it is unpleasant and I desperately want to connect again.
They make things worse when the dissociation is trying to protect from things like body memories.

Sometimes when hyperarousal is going crazy they work to focus the mind again. But I prefer “lighter” skills and actually focusing on calming down – I didn’t have the words for it, but the high level skills do send danger cues and I guess that’s why I’m reluctant to use them. It seems unnecessarily harsh to me at times, when just cuddling up with a blanket and soft music would work better.


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Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby birdsong87 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:39 am

so you are saying that sometimes the dissociation is useful and needed and if you use DBT Skills then, it’s not helpful?
Like if we dissociate to avoid our inner experience DBT Skills won’t help?

we kind of teach DBT Skills but at the same time… we don’t use the big ones at all. we use movement mostly. everything from sun salute to qigong to burpees and jump squats. on some occations it was not possible to avoid smelling salts but we haven’t needed them in several years now.
having autistic parts who react with a meltdown when they get overstimulated doesn’t make DBT Skills the tool of choice…

Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com


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Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby BeccaBee » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:24 am

I would never do anything in the list there. but I do use cold for grounding. i used to live in a very hot climate and I think something cold is very grounding to place me in time.

the other stuff sounds terrible and would be upsetting to me.


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