DBT: Opposite Action

9 Jun

Changing emotions by acting opposite to the current emotion.  One of my favorite DBT skills under the Emotion Regulation Module and this weeks homework.  I mostly use opposite action with fear (anxiety) and sadness/depression.  Maybe I’ll work on unjustified guilt this week….



  • Do what you are afraid of doing… over and over and over.
  • Approach events. places, tasks, activities, or people you are afraid of.
  • Do things to give yourself a sense of control and mastery.
  • When overwhelmed, make a list of small tasks or steps you can do.  Do the first thing on the list.

Guilt or Shame

(when it is justified and fits your wise mind values)

  • Repair the transgression.
  • Say you’re sorry.  Apologize
  • Make things better.  Do something nice for the person you offended (or for someone else if that is not possible)
  • Commit to avoiding the mistake in the future.
  • Accept the consequences gracefully, then let it go.

Guilt or Shame

(when it is not justified and the emotion doesn’t fit with your wise mind)  Some people get confused by this one an example would be if saying no makes you feel guilty or asking for your needs to be met.  Those are not justified guilt or shame feelings.

  • Do what makes you feel guilty or ashamed… over and over and over.
  • Approach, don’t avoid.

Sadness or Depression

  • Get active.  Approach, don’t avoid.
  • Do things that make you feel competent and self confident.


  • Gently avoid the person with who you are angry, rather than attacking.
  • Avoid thinking about him or her rather than ruminating.
  • Do something nice rather than mean or attacking.

One Response to “DBT: Opposite Action”

  1. Joyce June 10, 2015 at 3:27 AM #

    Reblogged this on MAKE BPD STIGMA-FREE!.

I'l love to hear your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: