We all use pros and cons to make decisions. This skill can be very helpful when you need to make a decision between two or more options. The objective when using this skill is for you to realize that accepting reality and tolerating distress leads to better outcomes versus rejecting reality and refusing to tolerate distress.
First describe the dilemma at hand. If the dilemma involves crisis behavior that you are hoping to avoid, we would want to look at the pros and cons of the behavior. How effective is the behavior in the short run and long run? Is the behavior damaging or inconsistent with your goals? Next, examine the pros and cons of the crisis behavior or acting on your urges. Then examine the advantages & disadvantages (or pros and cons) for each of the viable options. Before a crisis behavior occurs, it is helpful to write out the pros and cons and carry them with you so that you can be reminded and rehearse the skill over and over.
- 1Describe the crisis behavior you are trying to avoid.
- 2Examine the pros and cons of the crisis behavior / acting on your urges.
- 3Examine the advantages & disadvantages (or pros and cons) for each of the viable options.
When A Crisis Urge Occurs:
- Review your pros and cons. Get your list and read it over again.
- Imagine the positive consequences of resisting the urge.
- Think about the negative consequences of giving into the crisis behaviors.
- Remember past consequences when you acted on the crisis urges.