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Mechanisms to Target in the Treatment of Depression and Mood Disorders

5. Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance is the ability to tolerate aversive internal states, including negative emotions and physical discomfort—a key variable in one’s ability to cope with adverse events. The perception of both the distressful experience itself, and one’s ability to tolerate distress, influence the way one responds to such experiences and contexts (Leyro et al., 2010).

Thus, the perception “I can’t handle this,” where “this” is one more day of depression, can elicit response mechanisms that undermine the client’s ability to cope with the situation and perpetuate a repeating pattern of psychological problems.

Identifying the above mechanisms is the first step in creating an appropriate treatment plan that will get to the root of your client’s suffering. For more about transdiagnostic approach to treatment planning, check out “The Transdiagnostic Road Map to Case Formulation and Treatment Planning.”

 

Mechanisms to Target in the Treatment of Depression and Mood Disorders