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This is a very basic outline list of the DBT skills for convenient reference. For a complete list with links to where they appear on the website, click here.

Learning to be mindful, to focus, to breathe will help make the application of the modules be more effective. It is paramount to your success in reducing stress and coping.

Remember: Sometimes the skills will not work. This is when you need to quickly go to the Distress Tolerance module and take taking a vacation from the situation that you are in, practice radical acceptance, do a lot of self soothe, and distract activities. 

The key to success is the practice of DBT skills.
Overview of DBT skills (4 basic modules)

Using the What Skills:

  • Observe
  • Describe
  • Participate

  • Using the How Skills:

  • Non-judgmentally
  • One-mindfully
  • Effectively

    Using Crisis Survival: Distraction with Wise Mind Accepts

  • A Activities
  • C Contributing
  • C Comparisons
  • E Emotions - use opposite
  • P Pushing Away
  • T Thoughts
  • S Sensations

  • Using Self Soothe with five senses:

  • Taste
  • Smell
  • See
  • Hear
  • Touch

  • Using Improve the moment:

  • I Imagery
  • M Meaning
  • P Prayer
  • R Relaxation
  • O One thing at a time
  • V Vacation
  • E Encouragement

  • Using Pros and Cons

    Using Accepting Reality:


    Turning your mind

    Radical Acceptance

    Using Reduce Vulnerability: (Please)

  • P & L Treat Physical Illness
  • E eating
  • A Altering Drugs (no drugs unless it is medication to be taken as prescribed by your doctor)
  • S Sleep
  • E Exercise

  • Using Build Mastery

    Build Positive experiences

    Be mindful of current emotion

    Opposite to emotion action

    Using Objectiveness effectiveness: (Dear Man)

  • D Describe
  • E Express
  • A Assert
  • R Reinforce
  • M Mindful
  • A Appear Confident
  • N Negotiate

  • Using Relationship Effectiveness: (Give)

  • G Gentle
  • I Interested
  • V Validate
  • E Easy Manner

  • Self-respect effectiveness: (Fast)

  • F Fair
  • A Apologies (no Apologies)
  • S Stick to value
  • T Truthful
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