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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Opposite Actions

June 2023 | Abby Rowley, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adult Down Syndrome Center

When we experience an emotion, there is often a behavioral urge that comes along with it. When we feel angry, we may have the urge to yell or break things or hurt someone. When we feel sad, we may have the urge to isolate ourselves or lay in bed all day. 

Often, these behavioral urges can keep us stuck in that emotion or even make it stronger. In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), there is a concept that helps with emotional regulation called "opposite action." The idea is to do the opposite behavior of what our urges tell us to do in an effort to also change our emotion. 

The visual pictured and linked below provides examples. 

Opposite Actions Visual opens in new window



Find more resources like this in the Mental Health section of our Resource Library. 

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.