TIPP skills are a part of dialectical behavioral therapy's (DBT) distress tolerance skills, which are used in the event of overwhelming emotions. TIPP stands for temperature, intense exercise, paced breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation. If you are experiencing an intense emotion, try using some of the techniques listed below:


Temperature- sometimes intense emotions can make us hot. If this is true for you, try using techniques such as splashing cold water on your face, standing in front of the AC, consuming cold food or drink, holding onto an ice cube, holding a bag of frozen food to your head, or even dipping your head in a bowl of ice water.


Intense exercise- intense exercise provides an outlet. If you are needing a physical way of releasing excess energy try running, doing jumping jacks, or stairs; even intense dance might provide a release.


Paced breathing- deep breathing can help calm your nervous system. Try breathing out for longer than you breathe in; for example, in for a count 5 and out for a count of 7. There are apps available such as Breathe Easy- Paced Breathing that you can use to help.


Progressive muscle relaxation- progressive muscle relaxation involves tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body to physically relax. There are many audio guides available including this one from therapist aid.


If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or chat online, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also call 911 or go to the nearest ER.


If you are interested in learning more or in working with me please go to my homepage to contact me or schedule your free 15-minute phone call.


Please note that the information in this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for psychological or medical care. If you are looking for professional help, visit my resources page for guidance on how to find a therapist. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

Dr. Carissa Gustafson, Clinical Psychologist Los Angeles
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