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What is Wisemind from DBT?

Updated: May 5, 2023

Wiseman (or Wisemind) is a concept from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a form of therapy that was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), but has since been used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions.


Wiseman is one of the four states of mind that DBT teaches clients to cultivate in order to improve emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. The other three states of mind are reasonable mind, emotional mind, and the dialectical synthesis of the two, known as wise mind.


Wiseman refers to the part of ourselves that is able to step back from a situation and view it objectively. It involves taking a balanced and rational approach to problem-solving, and being willing to consider multiple perspectives.


Here are some examples of how wiseman might show up in different situations:


In a conflict with a friend or loved one, wiseman might involve taking a step back from the situation and considering both your own perspective and that of the other person. It might involve using assertive communication skills to express your needs and boundaries in a calm and respectful manner.


In a moment of intense emotion, such as anger or sadness, wiseman might involve taking a few deep breaths and allowing yourself to fully experience the emotion without reacting impulsively. It might involve using self-soothing techniques, such as taking a warm bath or listening to calming music, to help regulate your emotions.


In a decision-making process, wiseman might involve weighing the pros and cons of different options and considering how they align with your values and long-term goals. It might involve seeking out advice from trusted friends or professionals, and being open to changing course if new information becomes available.


Cultivating wiseman requires practice and patience. It's important to remember that wiseman is not about suppressing emotions or ignoring our own needs and desires. Rather, it's about finding a balance between reason and emotion, and using that balance to make decisions and navigate challenging situations in a way that is both effective and compassionate. If you are interested in learning more about coping skills like this one please reach out for your free consultation today.

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