College students everywhere are being faced with choices. In the blink of an eye, “which class should I register for?” turns to “what career should I begin after graduation?” Counseling Specialist Pamela Grant understands this and is determined to better equip students at confronting these obstacles in college and beyond by creating the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills therapy group.
DBT focuses on using both the emotional and logical sides of the brain together. This reportedly makes dealing with distress and decision-making in everyday life easier. “It [DBT] was originally created for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), before they realized that everyone needs this,” Grant said.
Grant began her journey in this field as an intern. DBT was not taught in her standard graduate classes, in which they primarily stuck to traditional theories. The four modules of DBT are mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance. Each is linked and leads to a more balanced way of thinking, what DBT refers to as “the Middle Path.” After gaining experience teaching this to adults, she was happy to bring it to New College.
To begin, students write out personal goals for what they’d like to gain from the group. Then for 12 weeks, meet weekly for an hour to build on their knowledge and plan how they will incorporate these skills into their daily lives. As these sessions focus on practical skills rather than talk therapy, Grant recommends students attend individual counseling sessions in conjunction with attendance to the DBT group.
Though this semester’s DBT group is no longer open to new members, two more sessions will be offered in the Spring semester after the January Independent Study Project (ISP) term. Visit the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) in person or online to see the full scope of services offered on campus.
“Every student on campus would benefit from learning the four skills,” Grant encourages. “Don’t just do, think.”