“Helping people get down-regulation skills is really important, not only to help them feel better emotionally but to also help them lead less impulsive and dangerous lives.”

Dr. Matthew McKay

Some of us have a harder time managing our emotions and find ourselves engaging in impulsive and destructive behaviors to cope with them. Enter Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an approach developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, that’s proven effective at helping people manage overwhelming emotions by teaching them specific acceptance and change-based strategies. In this episode, Diana speaks with seasoned psychologist and author Dr. Matthew McKay, about his newly revised book, The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance which simplifies and makes traditional DBT skills more accessible for everyone. Because let’s be honest, we could all use skills to help us more effectively downregulate strong emotions from time to time!

Listen and Learn:

  • What three behaviors perpetuate emotion dysregulation?
  • Why are some people are better at regulating their emotions than others?
  • How judgment in a toxic relationship with psychological pain
  • Self-soothing and distraction strategies for tolerating distress
  • Tips to reduce emotional vulnerability
  • How to make assertiveness scripts and limit setting work for you

About Dr. McKay:

Dr. Matthew McKay

Matthew McKay, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA and co-director of the Bay Area Trauma Recovery Clinic with Robyn Walser. He also co-founded Haight Ashbury Psychological Services, a low-fee community clinic, in San Francisco, CA and is the publisher and co-founder of New Harbinger Publications. Dr. McKay specializes in cognitive-behavioral approaches to treating anxiety and depression and co-developed numerous ACT-based protocols, including ACT for interpersonal disorders, ACT for couples, ACT for anger problems, and ACT for spiritual growth.

Dr. McKay is also an accomplished writer, having authored and co-authored several books including “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook,” “The New Happiness: Practices for Spiritual Growth and Living with Intention,” “The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook,” “Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings,” “When Anger Hurts,” and “ACT on Life Not on Anger.” Dr. McKay received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.


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Please note the information on Psychologists Off The Clock 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 our resources page for guidance on how to find a therapist. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 9-1-1.