T.I.P. Principles: D.B.T. to Manage Big Emotions

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (D.B.T.) combines cognitive-behavioural therapy with Eastern meditative practices to help individuals develop skills for emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness. Initially developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan in the 1980s to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder, D.B.T. has since been adapted to help a broader range of people dealing with emotional dysregulation.


One of the tools taught in D.B.T. for emotional regulation is the T.I.P. skillset. 

T.I.P. stands for Temperature, Intense exercise, and Pace breathing, a set of techniques that can help individuals manage intense emotions in the moment. 

TEMPERATURE: One option while experiencing emotional dysregulation is to change your body’s physical temperature, such as splashing cold water on your face or holding an ice pack to your skin. 

INTENSE EXERCISE: Immediately engaging in intense exercise, such as running or jumping jacks, can help release pent-up energy and regulate emotions. 

PACED BREATHING AND PAIRED MUSCLE CONTRACTION BODY SCAN: These two skills were designed for daily use to entrain yourself so that you can deploy them in times of “crisis”. The use of these two skills does require practice and often do not work if you only employ their usage “in the moment”, this is why I suggest setting particular time aside each day to practice these. Paced breathing involves taking slow, deep breaths to calm the body’s nervous system and bring focus back to the present moment. Paired muscle contraction is used as a body scan where you physically contract. For example, “both calves contract, hold, and relax, them move up to your thighs where you contract, hold, and then relax and so on…”. 

A.D.H.D. is often coupled with Emotional Dysregulation due to Low Working Memory. ADDitude Magazine has a great article explaining why D.B.T. works well for those of us with A.D.H.D. 

D.B.T. is very helpful for those who struggle with significant episodes of dysregulation. In addition, individuals who may benefit from learning the T.I.P. skill or other skills taught in D.B.T. include those working with intense emotions, impulsive behaviours, self-harm, substance abuse, or difficulties in relationships. 

These skills can be beneficial for those with borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. 

These skills can provide individuals with practical tools to regulate their emotions, improve their relationships, and ultimately lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.

If you want to watch a video on this subject, I like Doc Snipes because she offers reliable information.


Call Safe & Sound Today and start learning about D.B.T. Today, with a trained professional to improve your life and your relationships.

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