Skills Training

DBT skills are divided into four modules or components:

  • Mindfulness.

Mindfulness practice includes skills associated with observing, describing, and participating. In order to apply these skills, clients learn how to do so nonjudgmentally, one-mindfully (with focus), and effectively.

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Clients in DBT learn to manage relationships effectively through interpersonal and problem-solving skills. They are taught how to skillfully get their needs and objectives met while maintaining their relationships with others.

  • Distress Tolerance.

Clients in DBT learn to tolerate their distress through acceptance, meaning-making, and other practical activities. They are taught to nonjudgmentally be aware of their distress, though they are not expected to approve of it. Skills such as distraction and self-soothing also play a large role.

  • Emotion Regulation.

Clients in DBT learn how to regulate their emotions, which can ease the sense of the emotions being overwhelming or out of control. For example, they are taught to identify their emotions, experience their emotions without judgment, act opposite to their emotions, and increase positive emotions.