Psychological symptoms almost invariably include difficulties with being overwhelmed by one or more common emotions-- such as anxiety, sadness, or anger. Shame and guilt are two other emotions that often contribute to psychological struggles.

Dr. Bonner has expertise in teaching a range of emotion regulation skills, drawn from a variety of approaches. These emotion regulation skills include the use of collaboratively developed images, inner resources, deep breathing methods, selective focus on physical sensations, awareness of body posture, and learning specific movements that have a calming effect (including what has been called Resource Tapping-- see Parnell,  2008). For Dr. Bonner's PowerPoint on "Cultivating Inner Resources in Teens & Adults", follow this

Dr. Bonner also offers emotion regulation and distress tolerance skills drawn from Dialectical Behavior Therapy. He has published a therapist treatment manual for developing these skills in teens (Bonner, 2002; for a free download of this manual, scroll down to the 8th manual on the list at this link). For articles by Dr. Bonner on adolescent emotion regulation, go to the page on publications & downloads.

Dr. Bonner also often draws upon an approach called Affect Management Skills Training (A.M.S.T.) This protocol provides an outstanding foundation for the at times emotionally challenging responses evoked by the trauma processing of
E.M.D.R. and Brainspotting. A.M.S.T. interventions themselves can provide significant symptomatic relief early in treatment, and are useful even when trauma processing is not a psychotherapeutic goal.   In addition to his work with adults, Dr. Bonner has adapted the A.M.S.T. protocol to help teenagers develop their emotion regulation skills.

For general public & therapists:

Linehan, M. (2014) DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets (Second Edition). Guilford Press

Parnell, L. (2008) Tapping In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation. Sounds True, Incorporated

Rathus, J., Miller, A., & Linehan, M. (2014)  DBT® Skills Manual for Adolescents. Guilford Press.

For therapists (re: AMST)
Omaha, J. (2004) Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Emotion Regulation: EMDR and Bilateral Stimulation for Affect Management, W.W. Norton & Co.

Emotion Regulation Skills

Dr. Charles Bonner - Clinical Psychologist - Private Practice
Creative Solutions for Common Problems

Charles Bonner, Ph.D. PA. Lic. PS-007719-L
5873 Forbes Avenue  Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 422-9160 ext. 2   FAX: (412) 422-8180

Email Dr. Bonner

Emergencies in Allegheny County:
Resolve Crisis Network 888-796-8226