Anger, Intense Emotions & Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

People describe you as highly reactive.

You lash out and then you regret it later.

You have good intentions to be patient, but you just keep reacting. Anger can have negative effects on your health and cause you to feel tense a significant portion of the time. Your relationships can also be negatively affected and you can develop some unhealthy habits.

There may be some feelings underlying the anger that you are not aware of such as anxiety, sadness or hurt. We can help you understand the triggers for your anger and moodiness, significantly reduce the amount of time you feel angry and provide you with effective ways to quickly diminish your anger when it does emerge.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the most common and effective therapy for anger management.

Mindfulness meditation helps you learn to respond rather than react.

If you have intense emotions and believe you are very extreme in your reactions to upsetting situations, then Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) may be more effective for you than Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Services - Adults - Anger & Intense Emotions: closeup image of purple flowers

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is very effective in helping people learn to better tolerate and manage their intense emotions without acting on them impulsively. Some people who struggle with intense emotions can feel a deep despair when they are upset or when feeling rejected by others. When this despair is chronic, self-harm or suicidality often feel like the only ways to tolerate this distress.

An integral part of DBT is to help people develop greater tolerance and acceptance of negative events and emotions, as well as healthier coping strategies and behavioral control. DBT incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with mindfulness and acceptance and was originally developed in the late 1980’s by Dr. Marsha Linehan, as an empirically-validated treatment for individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and those suffering from increased suicidality.

DBT is particularly helpful to individuals struggling with:

  • Intense and uncontrollable emotions
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness, shame and self-criticism
  • Urges or behaviors to harm one’s self, especially when upset
  • Volatile relationships
  • Impulse control
  • Low mood and/or high anxiety
  • Disordered eating

Research over the past 30 years has demonstrated that DBT has led to improvements in emotion regulation, impulse and anger control, mood, trauma and anxiety struggles, as well as in a reduction of suicidal and self-injurious behaviors.

At our centre, we provide individual and group DBT-informed services. Our DBT services are informed by Dr. Linehan’s DBT model and we focus on teaching the four primary DBT modules of skills – distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness and interpersonal effectiveness.

Our Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) group will help you learn effective ways to tolerate and manage your distress by focusing on these four groups of skills.

A referral to our services is not necessary, however if you are a physician and would like to refer to our DBT-informed Skills Group, please complete our referral form.