DBT Modules

DBT LifeSkills Training Modules

Mindfulness in the Moment: Learn Tools and Techniques for Everyday Living. You will learn to distinguished between your reasonable and emotional thinking and how to use your “wise mind” in making healthy decisions. LifeSkills you will explore include:

Observe — just notice without getting caught in the experience.
Describe — put words on the experience.
Participate/Connect — become one with your experience.

Nonjudgmental — see but do not evaluate; stick to the facts.
One-Mindful — do one thing at a time.
Effective — do what needs to be done in each situation.

Behaviors to decrease: Problems experiencing or identifying a sense of self; sense of emptiness, boredom or intolerance of being alone;’ problems in maintaining your own feelings, opinions, and decisions around others; feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness.

Behaviors to increase: Mindfulness in Everyday Living … learning to go within to find yourself. Learning to observe — with no intention of changing or improving anything. observing and accepting life just as it is, with all its pleasures, pains, frustrations, disappointments, and insecurities which will enable you to become calmer, more confident and better able to cope with whatever comes your way.


Intrapersonal Effectiveness … Build a Roadmap to Self-Discovery. You will learn how to accept and love yourself through the identification of values, beliefs, and development of a personal life mission statement, as well as exploring affirmations and new ways of thinking. LifeSkills you will explore include:

approval of self
beliefs and values
new ways of thinking
meaning and life purpose

Behaviors to decrease: Problems experiencing or identifying a sense of self; feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness.

Behaviors to increase: Intrapersonal Effectiveness … identification of self; identification of beliefs, values, and purpose; self-esteem enhancement.


Interpersonal Effectiveness … Enhance Communication and People Skills. You will learn how to apply interpersonal problem solving, social, and assertiveness skills to modify aversive (unpleasant/uncomfortable) environments and to obtain your goals in relationships, while retaining your self-respect and the respect of others. LifeSkills you will learn include:

DEAR MANDescribe, Express, Assert, Reinforce … and
(stay) Mindful, Appear confident, Negotiate

GIVE … (be) Gentle, (act) Interested, Validate, (use an) Easy manner

FAST … (be) Fair, (no) Apologies, Stick to values , (be) Truthful.

Behaviors to decrease: Unstable relationships; difficulty maintaining relationships; conflict in relationships; panic, anxiety, and dread over relationships ending; frantic attempts to avoid abandonment.

Behaviors to increase: Interpersonal Effectiveness … assertiveness and problem solving; learning to deal with conflict situations; to get what you want and need’ to say no to requests or demands; maintaining self-respect and others liking you and/or receiving acknowledgement and respect.


Emotion Regulation and Well-Being … Managing Your Thoughts, Feelings and Actions.You will learn to focus on the nature of your emotions and identification; you will also learn how to experience emotion without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated through self-valuation, which will result in decreasing the intensity or changing the emotion. LifeSkills you will explore include:

reduce vulnerability (SLEEPS™)
build mastery
positive emotions for the short- and long-term
letting go
opposite to emotion

Behaviors to decrease: Emotional sensitivity; ups and downs; moodiness; emotional reactions; negative emotional response.

Behaviors to increase: Emotion Regulation … emotional control; reducing the intensity of emotions; learning that emotions are a natural part of you … you can have mroe controla nd learn to modulate emotiosn so that you are more balancrd between the highs and lows of your emotional reactions.


Distress Tolerance and Clutter Clearing … Balance and Strengthen a Healthy LifeStyle. You will learn that loss, pain,a nd distress are part of life; they cannot be entirely avoided or removed, thus you will learn lifeskills that are effective for the “moment” to decrease the intensity of the emotion. in addition, the effects of clutter on your emotional and physical well-being will be examined. LifeSkills you will explore include:

distract (Wise Mind ACCEPTS)
self-soothe using the senses
IMPROVE the moment
declutter an organization
pros nd cons
turn the mind
commitment to values

Behaviors to decrease: Impulsiveness in eating, spending, sexual promiscuity, fast driving, etc; self-sabatage and self-damaging acts, suicidal behaviors or threats.

Behaviors to increase: Distress Tolerance … learning to tolerate stress, survive crises, and accept life as it is in the moment; pain and distress are part of life and cannot be entirely avoided or removed. In addition to developing a more organized life to enhance your emotional and physical well-being.


Walking the Middle Path: Dialectical, Validation, Compassion. You will learn how to balance the ideas of acceptance and change. LifeSkills you will explore include:

Thinking and acting dialectically – seeing the black, white, and gray

Validating self

Validating others

Compassion and Gratitude

Behaviors to decrease: That all or nothing thinking.

Behaviors to increase: Creates movement towards “both/and” thinking and emphasizes the importance of recognizing change as the only constant. The concept of validation facilitates the development of active listening and tolerating others, as well as learning how to validate yourself through observing and describing current emotions and acknowledging such emotions as real, even if they are irrational. Learning and practicing compassion for self and others, along with gratitude is critical to this module.


Reflections of the Soul: Exploring Life’s Lessons and Spiritual Journey. A spiritual journey means ones natural pogression of a person as they grow and experience life in search of who they are, their “spirituality” and the world. It is an intentional lifestyle of growing deeper in knowledge and wisdom. The spirirual journey helps us to understand what our challenges are and how to overcome them.

Here are five steps to consider:

  1. Understanding a New Reality – involves a thirst for understanding and knowledge, which serves as a map or direction. You begin by asking a question, “What is life about?” “What is my purpose?” or “Where am I headed?
  2. Acceptance – Do you know where you are on your path right now? How do you know? How do you learn to just be … with where you are, with who you are … doesn’t mean you have to like it. It is when we can truly acknowledge and accept before we move forward on our journey.
  3. Self-Love and Healing – choose to allow the process to be as gentle and calm as possible … relax and embrace each moment. This becomes the step to action. first finding our self-love and healing and then extending ourselves to others as a way of changing and developing who we want to become.
  4. Doing what is Good for the Soul: Gaining Power – moving on with our journey with focus, dedication, and self-love. We have gathered our energy, have taken stock of where things are and what is really going on. What is important to us? What are our values?
  5. Connecting with Your Soul – the most beautiful step where we find the constant and endless profound peace,where everything makes total sense. We see perfection of each moment and the beauty that was there all along. Don’t try to hard. Learn to love yourself as you are, knowing that you are always a wonderful, beautiful being no matter what is going on.

Your spiritual journey is unique and special for you. Give yourself silent space to reflect, and to become present. Take a few moments each day to notice where and how you are grateful for each day. Do not rush the process … it may take weeks, months and years.

I believe that we are each on a spiritual journey, which is filled with challenges and opportunities … seeking connection with our mental, physical and spiritual realms of life. We often look for answers, but they do not come as quickly as we want. We become impatient, discouraged, frustrated, angry and stuck.

We need to learn to be mindful and patient … awareness of our self and surroundings. Life is not a race, but a journey to be appreciated and savored each and every step of the way.

We need the time to remember … the time to just be and time to dream … nourishing our mind, body and spirit while embracing each moment with love, happiness, harmony, surprise, laughter, strength and peace.

I wish for you this day — contentment, compassion and courage — while embracing this very moment … take a breath and enjoy the boundless blessings you are receiving.

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