“Life is a balancing act and the answers we seek are often found somewhere in the middle ground”
The circle on the left represents our emotions. The circle on the right, our logic. “If you make a choice out of one side or the other, it’s not usually the best choice,” says Ruth M. Denton-Graber, a licensed counselor with The Village.
Where the two circles meet is the “Wise Mind,” a grounded place that blends reason and feeling and drives good decision-making.
(If everyone operated from center of this Venn diagram, the world would be a much better place, Ruth notes.)
Helping people find their own Wise Mind is the goal of Developing Balanced Travels, a new therapy group Ruth leads at The Village.
Developing Balanced Travels, or DBT, is all about finding balance, Ruth says. It helps participants build coping and relationship skills so they can better handle distress, difficult emotions, and everyday stressors.
“I’ve heard people say it’s been a lifesaver,” Ruth says about DBT. “I’ve heard people say that some of the skills are the only thing that’s worked for them.”
Two DBT groups meet at The Village currently. The walls of the room where participants gather are adorned with representations of the Wise Mind, including brightly colored circles stitched on fabric and handcrafted paper butterflies.
Ruth typically starts each session with a reading or discussion on mindfulness. Mindfulness is one of the principles of DBT; in addition to teaching them that skill, this introduction helps them to be more mindful for the session, she says. The group then discusses that week’s skillset. For example, to improve distress tolerance, Ruth presents the tools of distraction and self-soothing. She provides handouts so people can bring the knowledge with them into their daily lives.
“I want people to take the skills, find the ways each skill fits them and their personality, and then run with it,” Ruth says. “If one skill doesn’t fit, that’s OK. We will find another one that does.”
Some people choose to couple individual counseling sessions with the group, but it’s not required. In the end, Ruth would like to work herself out of a job.
“I want to do whatever it takes to get people to the point where they don’t need people like me.”
For more information about DBT or to register for the group, call Kim Armbrust at 701-451-4900 or contact us online.