Emotional Regulation

30 sessions with Carolyn Bright

Carolyn Bright is a clinical psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in treating destructive behaviour and uncontrolled emotions. In this series, Carolyn shares skills to help you tame emotional turmoil. We recommend beginning with session one ‘What Are Your Goals’ and working your way through the series.

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Sessions in this Series

  1. 01

    What Are Your Goals?

    In this session Carolyn explores how to set communication goals by evaluating our priorities, our objectives and our self-respect. Carolyn considers what might get in the way of good communication. She investigates emotions, short and long-term goal setting, our environment, our internal belief systems and where we position ourselves in our world. Carolyn offers insights, examples and skills to help us to become clear about the outcomes we really want, be more responsive to situations rather than reactive, to set boundaries and have a more balanced relationship.
  2. 02

    Getting What You Want

    In this session, Carolyn considers the importance of interpersonal effectiveness and clear communication. Carolyn provides a solution, explaining the framework in detail using the acronym DEAR MAN (a seven-step conversational technique developed by Marsha Linehan Ph.D.). It might seem a little frightening at first, but using this clever little framework can help you communicate how rational your thinking is while calming any pent-up emotions and suggesting a positive outcome. DEAR MAN is a technique that will help you get what you want, whether it’s getting what you want in a personal relationship or negotiating a promotion at work.
  3. 03

    Improving Your Effectiveness

    In this session, Carolyn looks at interpersonal effectiveness and considers skills that communicate your requests in such a way that it helps you build and maintain a positive relationship with the people around you. Carolyn provides a solution, explaining the framework in detail using the acronym GIVE (a four-step conversational technique developed by Marsha Linehan Ph.D.).
  4. 04

    Maintaining Your Self-Respect

    In this session, Carolyn looks at interpersonal effectiveness and considers how we can sometimes sacrifice our self-respect to get what we want or we give it up for the sake of maintaining a relationship. Carolyn provides an answer, explaining the framework in detail using the acronym FAST (a four-step conversational technique developed by Marsha Linehan Ph.D.). She further considers that if we are always giving in to other people’s requests or viewpoints, we will end up dishonoring ourselves. Carolyn offers insight and skills into effective communication whilst balancing your own personal and professional needs.
  5. 05

    How to Ask or Say No

    In this session, Carolyn looks at interpersonal effectiveness and considers skills for helping us know how strongly we should ask for something, or when we should say “no”. She considers how what works in one situation may not work in another and the times when you make a request but feel like you haven’t been heard. Carolyn provides a solution, explaining in detail the factors to consider (a technique developed by Marsha Linehan PhD). Carolyn investigates each factor and offers skills and insight for how to incorporate this new learning into your life.
  6. 06

    Building Relationships

    In this session Carolyn looks at how good relationships support both our physical and mental health. She considers the different ways to build new relationships and how to identify and move on from our destructive relationships. Carolyn offers insights and examples to consider if you are trying to make a new group of friends or move into a circle that is more supportive. She covers proximity and various stages of disclosure when relationship building. Carolyn investigates the pros and cons of destructive relationships and how to move forward successfully.
  7. 07

    Being Mindful Of Others

    In this session Carolyn looks at being mindful of others you wish to have a successful relationship with, whether they be work colleagues, friends or family. She looks at building and strengthening relationships and lists several blocks like judgment and anxiety that can get in the way. Carolyn considers how being mindful can help us pay attention, to be in the moment, balance our emotions and lower relationship stress. Carolyn offers insight, examples and established techniques that you can practice, helping you to build more comfortable and successful relationships.
  8. 08


    In this session Carolyn explains how validation is an important skill when building and maintaining relationships. It can help people to realize you understand them and get where they are coming from. When you validate, people are more likely to open up, become closer and share details and when you don’t validate, people are more likely to close down communication, get angry and feel resentful. Learning how to use validation effectively takes practice and Carolyn offers insight examples and established techniques that will help you develop this useful skill.
  9. 09

    Understanding Your Emotions

    In this session Carolyn considers understanding emotions and how at times they can be quite powerful and sometimes they may even seem to rule our lives with devastating consequences. Carolyn investigates why we have emotions and regulating our emotions. She reviews how emotions can be an automatic and unconscious process and offers skills which give us more control. Carolyn offers insights and teaches established techniques that can make us more aware of our emotions and how to modify our emotions when the situation requires.
  10. 10

    How Your Emotions Work

    In this session, Carolyn looks the basic model of emotion and investigates the parts that are involved when we experience emotion. Carolyn considers that when we understand how our emotions function we are better equipped to regulate. She reviews how emotions can be triggered, how they can appear suddenly or even build up over time and then explode. She explains ways to change the intensity of what you are feeling. Carolyn offers insight and examples that put you in touch with your emotions and then teaches established techniques and practices to help.
  11. 11

    Identify Your Emotions

    cb_emotional_regulation/ER3 Identify Your Emotions.mp3
  12. 12

    Change Your Emotional Reactions

    cb_emotional_regulation/ER4 Change Your Emotional Reactions.mp3
  13. 13

    Solve Your Problems

    In this session Carolyn looks at problem-solving and introduces a technique that can help in everyday life, by setting goals and overcoming some of life’s obstacles. She considers problem-solving as a useful tool and looks at situations where we might use problem-solving skills. She outlines different options and teaches useful steps to solving these problems. She looks at the different ways we can get stuck and how to evaluate our decisions. Carolyn presents various scenarios and offers insight and established techniques that will help you solve your problems more effectively.
  14. 14

    Act Opposite to Your Emotions

    In this session Carolyn considers ‘Opposite Action to Emotion’ and how to use this skill.  She firstly considers Session 6 (Changing your Emotional Reaction – Check the Facts) and 13 (Solve your Problems) then outlines the process that helps you to move forward when you are emotionally stuck. Carolyn shows that opposite action is only used when the emotion is unjustified. She teaches new skills and explains the steps for Acting Opposite to Your Emotions (developed by Marsha Linehan Ph.D.).
  15. 15

    Build Positive Emotions

    In this session Carolyn considers how positive emotions don’t just happen and how we need to get involved and do things that make us feel better. Positive emotions not only make us feel good, they help us become more resilient and give us the energy to cope with stress. It doesn’t mean that the bad days will go away entirely, but it does mean you will have more emotional reserves to minimize their effect. Carolyn teaches skills and techniques for building a strong emotional reservoir and gives us direction for establishing the life we want to live.
  16. 16

    Achieve Your Goals

    In this session Carolyn considers that if we want to improve the way we feel then we need to do something different. Carolyn investigates two techniques developed by Marsha Linehan Ph.D.; Building Mastery and Coping Ahead. When we set ourselves goals and we achieve them, then we get a sense of mastery which can make us feel more confident and in control. Coping Ahead teaches us to plan for future events that may prove to be emotionally challenging and uncomfortable. Carolyn offers practical scenarios and teaches skills to help us achieve these goals.
  17. 17

    Prevent Emotional Vulnerability

    In this session Carolyn investigates some of our longer-term life style factors, she considers how changes can make a significant difference in the way we experience emotion. She looks at using the acronym PLEASE (developed by Marsha Linehan Ph.D.) which stands for 5 easy to remember areas in our life where we can benefit our physical and mental health. Carolyn provides an answer on how to build on these choices and teaches with examples and skills how to make enduring changes and avoid being susceptible to intense emotional outbursts.
  18. 18

    Being Mindful of Your Emotions

    In this session Carolyn looks at solutions for situations where we avoid emotions due to fear or a sense of being overwhelmed. She considers how to be more mindful of emotions and how to allow them to be there without being manipulated by uncomfortable urges. She investigates how when we are mindful we are observing and describing the experience and allowing our emotions to safely express themselves. Suppressing emotion causes suffering. Carolyn demonstrates established techniques and practices that offer pathways to emotional freedom.
  19. 19

    Managing Your Extreme Emotions

    In this session Carolyn looks at those times when our emotions are so intense we feel we just can’t manage. When our thinking closes down and we are unable to think of anything except the emotions we are experiencing. Carolyn teaches how to recognize extreme emotion and gives us specific skills to manage these emotions, and if nothing works for you, what we should do next. Carolyn offers established techniques, practice, and examples to minimise suffering and put you in a better space to manage extreme emotions.
  20. 20

    Understanding Distress Tolerance

    In this session Carolyn shows how to use distress tolerance skills when we are in a crisis and we don’t want to make the situation worse. Carolyn also outlines the concept of Accepting Reality and how accepting reality helps us manage and move forward successfully. Carolyn gives an understanding about what a crisis is and how to manage it. She offers strategies for using crisis survival skills and introduces Marsha Linehan’s STOP skill. Carolyn teaches established techniques with examples that will guide you through those times when you are stuck and vulnerable.
  21. 21

    Pros and Cons

    In this session Carolyn considers Pros and Cons as a skill we can use when we are in crisis, particularly when emotions are high, we are feeling overwhelmed and we are struggling to stay with our longer-term goals. Pros and Cons are especially useful for avoiding destructive behaviors. The goal of practicing Pros and Cons is to help make decisions from a wisemind perspective (See session 28 Using your wisemind). Carolyn offers practical examples, teaches the technique in detail and provides the opportunity for you to achieve your goals by reducing impulsive decisions.
  22. 22

    Crisis Survival

    In this session Carolyn reviews situations when emotions are so intense that you feel overwhelmed, distraught and confused. Carolyn covers skills that interrupt these intense emotions and give you space to make more informed decisions. Carolyn provides a solution with a technique using the acronym TIPP (developed by Marsha Linehan Ph.D.) which is particularly effective for drug, alcohol, self-harm and other destructive behaviors. Once learnt, this skill is easy to acquire, even while in a state of distress.
  23. 23

    Distract, Soothe and Improve

    In this session Carolyn considers Distress Tolerance skills that give us some space and help bring our emotions down so we can start to make rational decisions. She outlines the skills: Distraction, Self-soothing and Improve the Moment. She covers the techniques developed by Marsha Linehan to teach these skills. Once learnt, these techniques can give you the opportunity to shift your emotional state from distress to calm. Carolyn teaches these skills and with some practice, you can survive stressful situations and avoid painful feelings and destructive impulses.
  24. 24

    Radical Acceptance

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  25. 25

    Willingness vs Wilfulness

    In this session Carolyn considers concepts of willingness and wilfulness. Willingness is the ability to be open and do what is required, being effective in the moment and able to consider others and be collaborative. Wilfulness is where you may be bitter, grudge-holding, distant and/or may even try to control everything around you with a negative attitude. Carolyn offers techniques that help us move from wilful towards willing and teaches us skills using practical examples and solutions.
  26. 26

    Being Mindful Of Your Thoughts

    In this session Carolyn looks at when emotions are overwhelming and we can’t solve the crisis right now. One of the difficulties we can experience is our thoughts getting out of control and we get caught up in judgments, catastrophizing and thinking the worst possible scenarios. These thoughts churn around in our minds causing stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation. Carolyn offers insight and teaches techniques that can help take the heat out of the moment and create a calm mind.
  27. 27

    Understanding Mindfulness

    In this session Carolyn looks at mindfulness and how it can benefit our physical and mental health. Incessant mental activity can be maddening. Worry thoughts and rumination can cause stress and anxiety, increase negative emotions, and contribute to depression and sleep disturbance. Pushing away worrying thoughts can often make things worse. Carolyn offers guidance as she teaches simple techniques using examples and good practice. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and helps us engage and be present experiencing a calm sense of wellbeing.
  28. 28

    Using Your Wise Mind

    In this session Carolyn reviews two states of mind that make up wise mind. She describes wise mind as inner wisdom and intuition. She considers the influence of our Emotional mind and our Rational mind and the role they can play in creating a balanced state. Integrating wise mind into our decision making can reduce painful emotional states like anxiety, stress and depression. Carolyn offers insights and practical skills using examples for accessing and using your wise mind.
  29. 29

    Observe, Describe And Participate

    In this session Carolyn looks at the inner aspects of mindfulness. She looks at the ‘what’ skills – that is, what we do when we are being mindful. This involves Observing, Describing and Participating in the moment. These aspects are described in great detail. Carolyn provides you with opportunities to practice so you get an idea of what is like to be mindful.
  30. 30

    Being Effective and Non-Judgemental

    In this session Carolyn discusses the qualities we need to become more mindful. She looks in detail at the ‘How’ skills which are how we pay attention to the moment. She explains the three skills that encompass the ‘how’ skills of being mindful-  a non-judgemental stance, doing one thing at the moment and the skill of effectiveness.

Select from the Series below

  • Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the left and right halves of the human brain. It's not simply "emotion on the right, reason on the left," but something far more complex and interesting.
    Divided Brain Clinic
    Dr Iain McGilchrist
  • Internationally-renowned PTSD researcher and clinician, founder of the Boston Trauma Centre and professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School.
    PTSD Relief Therapy
    Dr Bessel van der Kolk
    EMDR Skills Training 1
    Dr Jennifer Sweeton
  • Internationally-renowned psychotherapist, 40 years’ experience integrating the mind and body, offers relief and a new way of living in our body.
    Body Wisdom Therapy
    Dr Pat Ogden
  • World-renowned trauma clinical psychologist and clinician with over 30 years’ experience helping survivors to accept and love their wounded selves.
    Advanced Trauma Therapy
    Dr Janina Fisher
    ACT Therapy Training 1
    Dr John Boorman
  • Internationally-acclaimed clinical psychologist, professor at Harvard University, McLean Hospital and clinician with over 30 years’ experience working with high-conflict couples.
    Conflict in Relationships
    Dr Alan Fruzzetti
  • Clinical psychologist with over 20 years’ experience helping people manage out of control emotions, irrationality, feelings of hopelessness and distress.
    Emotional Regulation
    Carolyn Bright
  • Internationally-acclaimed clinical psychologist, professor at Harvard University, McLean Hospital and clinician with over 30 years’ experience working with children and families.
    Divorcing: Parents & Kids
    Dr Alan Fruzzetti
  • Doctor of counselling psychology offers understanding and relief from depression with a variety of skills and a wealth of treatment experience.
    Depression Relief Therapy
    Dr Lauren Axelsen
  • Clinical psychologist, researcher and expert in behavioural treatment for phobias, provides dynamic treatment and relief from anxiety.
    Anxiety Relief Treatment
    Dr Sia Bandarian
  • Brain Skool will be a collection of sessions from internationally-renowned specialists investigating the function and processing of their favourite brain regions.
    Brain Skool
    Various Presenters

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