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Category: Emotion Regulation

Where I’ve Been for the Last Two Years

Where I’ve Been for the Last Two Years

I help people using DBT and other therapies via a HIPAA compliant video/audio app from the convenience of your home. This saves time and money. I also supervise therapists in training. I trained for my Clinical Supervision certification in March 2015. I am licensed in both Montana and Wyoming. Feel free to call to chat and set up an appointment.

You haven’t heard from me in awhile. Back in October of 2014, I was diagnosed with a recurring brain tumor that had been removed in 2006. I needed to have the surgery all over again in February of 2017. The surgery saved my life but left me without the ability to work as hard as I had been in private practice.  But I am not letting this stop me from my mission in life! My passion is Dialectical Behavior Therapy and how it can help you regulate your emotions and have a life you love!

I feel passionate about helping others as long as I can. We can feel extreme pain because of toxic relationships but what a lot of people do not realize is that we can also heal through healthy ones. Yes…other people can help us to heal. Our relationships…our marriages…our friendships, can provide us with a sense of joy. But sometimes, there’s a lot to learn about ourselves, our upbringing, and other people before that can happen. I’ll be writing a lot more about this subject in the days and weeks to come.

Take good care of you,

Linda (Hoenigsberg) Lochridge

 

 

3 Ways to Using Imagery to Calm Your Emotions

3 Ways to Using Imagery to Calm Your Emotions

Have you ever felt like going to bed because your emotions were “off the charts?” I have, and I found myself lying there thinking about what I was so angry about. Turns out, that’s not very helpful. Then I learned a DBT Skill that helped me not only calm down but also helped to turn those negative emotions towards more positive ones as well.

I headed off to the beach.

Well…sort of. You see, I live in Montana. Not much in the way of ocean breezes around here. I grew up near the beaches of Southern California and to say I miss the beach is an understatement. But I can give myself a taste of that experience whenever I want. Here’s how.

1. Think of a place (either real or imaginary) that you would like to be right now.

For me, that’s always the ocean. I love everything about it; even the smell of rotting seaweed.

2. If you can, gather things that will help you experience it with your 5 senses.

When I was a teenager I went to the beach with my friends as often as we could afford the 33 cents for bus fare. We slathered on the suntan lotion and put lemon juice in our hair to lighten it. We listened to The Beach Boys on the radio and let the sound of the waves massage our souls. I have suntan lotion in my bathroom cabinet and lemon juice in the fridge. I also own a CD of ocean waves (you can also listen to waves on Youtube). And of course I own several Beach Boys CD’s. When California Girl comes through the speakers in my room, I am 14-years-old again! These smells and sounds help me remember what it was like to actually be at the beach. One time I even clicked on a small electric heater to simulate the heat of the sun!

3. Sit or lie down and allow yourself to be carried away to the place of your dreams.Your emotions will calm as you soothe yourself with a free, 10-minute vacation.

Try this exercise and let me know where you went in the comments below. I am giving away Christy Matta’s book, The Stress Response, to one lucky winner (randomly picked from the comments).

 

Changing Your Brain Using Compassion-Based Mindfulness

Changing Your Brain Using Compassion-Based Mindfulness

Hi everybody!  I just wanted to pass this link along so you can read my latest article on Psychology Today and learn more about the blog, “Stop Walking on Eggshells,” by author Randi Kreger.  This website has wonderful information for those who have family members or loved-ones who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder as well as forums to join and support.  Click below to check it out! If the link doesn’t work, please copy and paste in your browser address bar…and accept my apologies. Weirder things have happened on the information superhighway.

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201311/changing-your-brain-using-compassion-based-mindfulness

Out of Control ~ Part 4

Out of Control ~ Part 4

Anger ~ When Doing the Opposite Can Help

 

In Out of Control Part 1, we talked about the brain, and how that non-thinking, emotional part of our brain, right smack in the middle of our heads, can hijack us, and cause us to react in ways that tend to hurt others or ourselves.

 

In Out of Control Part 2, we discussed thinking errors, and how our feelings in childhood can affect the way we think.  We also learned that the way we think can affect our feelings, and that our feelings can affect our behavior, and on and on!

 

In Out of Control Part 3, we discussed how learning to be mindful could help us, not only control our emotions, but also, in some ways, reshape how our brain works. It’s almost like a reboot.

 

So, in Out of Control Part 4, I want to leave you with a tool to help you when you feel one of the hardest to control emotions – anger. Anger is one of hardest emotions to control.

 

One of the skills in Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder(1993) is the skill of Opposite Action. This skill can actually help slow down and even reverse an emotion if we know what we are doing and we are willing to do it. But being willing is key to any skill. And being willing with this skill is particularly relevant.

 

In the case of anger (and other emotions as well) the first step is to figure out if the anger is justified. Usually, when we become angry with someone, we have a reason for that stirring up in our bodies, that clenching of our hands, that tightening of our jaw. But sometimes, we get angry because we misunderstood something we thought someone said or did. Sometimes we get angry because we are experiencing “triggering” emotions. Our feeling arises because we were just reminded of something that happened in our past. But sometimes, it’s actually justified. What then?

 

We know that the first urge when angry is to “approach.” In other words, we want to defend. We want to strike out in words, or in a look, or even in a closed fist sort of way. The thing is, rarely do these actions help us in any way unless we are actually protecting ourselves from danger. Other times, we at least want to get the anger to come down a little bit before we decide our next move. So what can we do?

 

Opposite to Emotion ~ Anger

 

One of the first steps to changing the level of anger we are carrying is to “gently avoid” the person we are angry with. What does it mean to “gently” avoid? Let’s say you are in a heated discussion with someone and you know if you storm out and slam the door they will either follow you or at least become more angry, making the situation worse. To gently avoid, instead of storming out you simply excuse yourself and walk into another room. It can be the bathroom, or the kitchen, anywhere other than where the argument is taking place (this predisposes that the other party is a reasonable person). You can say something like, “Hold onto that thought,” and leave the room long enough for both of you to calm down.

 

By the way, while you are in the other room there’s a couple more opposite actions you can take. Try to avoid rethinking the argument, planning your latest comeback, or developing a case against the person you are angry with. Try to think about something else for a few minutes.

 

Try to put yourself, just for the moment, in the other person’s shoes. What could be triggering their response? Is it possible they are thinking of a past event? Are they having a particularly hard day? Are they defensive because their feelings are hurt?

 

Now this one is hard…but it works. Many times, we are reacting to the way someone is treating us. What if we were to do or say something just a little bit nice? Chances are, the other person would respond differently, which would calm our anger, which would cause us to act differently, which would then cause them to act differently, and the whole entire blow-up may be avoided all together.

 

The skill of Opposite Action is not guaranteed to work in every situation with every person you get angry at. The more the anger is justified, the harder this may be to implement. But for someone who feels they have a “problem” with anger, a skill like this can be extremely helpful. Give it a try, and let me know in the comment box if it worked for you. Any questions? Give me a holler. Join the conversation.