Strengthening Distress Tolerance and Emotion Regulation in the Family

CE Hours: 6.0
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

Children with SED and their caregivers often show a chronic pattern of extra-sensitivity and under-regulation, tending toward severe and extreme reactions when stressed. To be effective, therefore, it is important that therapists recognize and address emotion regulation processes at both an individual and family system level.  The morning portion of this workshop identifies family interaction patterns which promote or undermine the development of emotion regulation.  The uses of enactments to develop distress tolerance and emotion regulation are described and demonstrated. In the afternoon, the emphasis is on what family therapists can do at an individual level of intervention to facilitate distress tolerance and emotion regulation. Mindfulness Awareness Practices (MAPs) are given special attention.

This workshop is designed to help: 1) explain how emotion regulation influences individual emotional competence and family functioning, 2) observe and identify common functional and dysfunctional patterns of family emotion regulation, 3) demonstrate how family level interventions, such as enactments, can enhance both individual and family distress tolerance and emotion regulation, 4) explain the importance of imagery, metaphor, and scaling in helping family members identify and modulate strong emotions, 5) define formal and informal mindful awareness practices (MAPs) & techniques, and 6) demonstrate how mindfulness practices work to help modulate tension and emotional intensity.

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