Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships When You Experience Intense Emotions

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people who struggle with emotion dysregulation or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) experience symptoms and behaviors that often challenge their ability to make and keep healthy relationships.

Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms can include:

  • Problems regulating emotions
  • Extreme sensitivity
  • Intense mood swings
  • Impulsive and reckless behaviors
  • Fear of abandonment or rejection
  • Poor self esteem
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger

To make matters worse, people who struggle with emotion dysregulation tend to have increased rates of substance use, self-harm behaviors, hopeless thinking and suicidal ideation. This often leaves family members or friends walking on egg shells, fearing for their loved one’s safety and simply not wanting to deal with any of this.

So what is the answer when it comes to building healthy relationships and managing intense emotion?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Interpersonal Effectiveness skills (DBT-IPE)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder. It uses concepts of mindfulness and acceptance or being aware of and attentive to the current situation and emotional state.

DBT-IPE skills teach individuals how to:

  • Effectively ask for help or set limits while at the same time manage their emotions effectively.
  • Build healthy relationships with appropriate limits and boundaries.
  • End destructive relationships in appropriate ways.

Research indicates that depression symptoms are reduced when people are able to engage in and sustain healthy relationships. That’s why learning DBT-IPE skills is a win-win for both the person who struggles with emotion dysregulation as well as their family members and friends!


Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Pine Rest

Interested in learning more about DBT-IPE skills for yourself or a loved one? Visit our Dialectical Behavior Therapy page!

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