Jerry Daskoski is an Independent Living Counselor in the state of Kansas, with over ten years of experience. Jerry’s duties include providing training for individuals with disabilities to live independently. His goals are to increase employment and self-sufficiency for these individuals. His efforts are dedicated to Mental, Cognitive and Physical Disabilities. Jerry Daskoski uses cognitive therapy as a tool to help his clients learn effective skills to improve their behavioral pattern. This approach enables Jerry’s clients to gain independence and effectiveness in dealing with real-life problems.
What is Cognitive Therapy?
Cognitive Therapy is based on a cognitive model, which states that thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all connected. But more importantly, that individuals can overcome difficulties by identifying and changing unhelpful or inaccurate thinking, problematic behavior and distressing emotional responses.
In pursuit of providing relief for those experiencing emotional distress, Jerry employed himself with Johnson County Mental Health, as a Crisis Recovery Specialist. Johnson County Mental Health is a licensed ten-bed, inpatient psychiatric hospital. Here, Jerry did extensive studying and learning in order to accurately utilize Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The skills of DBT are used to help people with a Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) who are in crisis that come to Johnson County Mental Health Psychiatric Residential Facility. Many of these individuals are committing self-harm and harboring self-destructive behaviors (e.g. alcohol abuse, substance abuse, shoplifting, binge spending, etc.) to try and find temporary relief from their Emotional Distress and Pain. These patients usually suffer from things like Anxiety and Depression.
As an effort to improve the mental health sector, Jerry Daskoski continues to blend DBT Skills with the Cognitive Therapy Model. As a result, his mission is to actively help individuals manage and control their everyday lives. The following three skills provide Jerry’s clients with the necessary tools to help manage and control mental, emotional and behavioral problems.
The distress and pain from anxiety and depression often comes from focusing on problems of the past and constantly worrying about negative possibilities. Mindfulness is letting go of these thoughts and actively pursuing the present moment while remaining alert and aware. Mindfulness is having a “Teflon Mind” and letting go of the ruminating on all of the mistakes, troubles and worries of the past. Mindfulness is the here and NOW.
Acceptance and Replacement
Acceptance and replacement allow individuals to accept the presence of the intense emotions (e.g. anxiety and depression). They learn to not “fight” or “fear” these emotions anymore because that just ensures that they will stay, and remain in their “Intense” form. Intense emotions lead to intense stress (e.g. racing heart, fast breathing, muscle tension, etc.), but accepted emotions lead to relaxation. Jerry Daskoski teaches individuals to accept the intense emotions of anxiety or depression, but then take things one step further and “Replace” them with positive and enjoyable emotions. These positive and enjoyable emotions are Gratefulness and Thankfulness.
Sometimes mindfulness and acceptance are not enough; individuals are then taught to tolerate the intense emotion that they’re experiencing. Distress Tolerance is experiencing the emotion but not reacting to the experience. According to Jerry Daskoski, emotions are neither good nor bad, they are not right or wrong—emotions just “Are.” By doing this over and over, a sense of fulfillment happens. People stop “fearing” the intense emotions of anxiety and depression and while they are not fearful of them, they dissipate. You cannot completely get rid of emotions because they serve important survival functions. By using this skill, the intense emotions of anxiety and depression have now lost all of their Negative Power.
Jerry’s method of blending Cognitive Therapy and DBT Skills, allow individuals to remain in control of their mind and manage their emotions, instead of letting their mind and emotions manage them. These skills have allowed Jerry’s clients to change their way of thinking, which allows them to change their behavior. These DBT Skills also provide a healthy outlet for one to relieve themselves of anxiety and depressions. Thanks to Jerry Daskoski, individuals no longer need to entertain the idea of self-destructive behavior to try and find some momentary relief, because they have now found permanent relief.