Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)


  • Teflon Mind: let thoughts slide by
  • Wise Mind: balance thoughts and feelings
  • Non-Judgmental: “just the facts”
  • Effectively: choose effective over right
  • “What am I feeling?”: observe and describe your feelings. Participate; allowing experience
  • One Mindful: stay focused on the task at hand

Emotional Regulation

  • Moment to Pause: reflect before acting – “buy time”
  • ABC: Accumulate positives / Build mastery / Cope ahead
  • PLEASE: treat Physical ilLness – Eating – Avoid drugs – Sleep – Exercise
  • Changing Emotional Responses: Check the facts, opposite action (to the emotion), problem solve

Interpersonal Effectiveness

  • DEARMAN: Describe –Express – Assert – Reinforce
  • GIVE: Gentle – Interested – Validate – Easy Going
  • FAST: Fair – less Apologies – Stick to values – Truth
  • Intensity of Request: appropriate to situation

Distress Tolerance

  • Pros & Cons: weigh advantages and disadvantages
  • Distract – Self Soothe – Improve the Moment
  • Radical Acceptance: reality as it is
  • Turning the Mind: shift focus with willingness
  • TIP your body chemistry: Temperature (iced water on your face) – Intensely exercise. Progressively relax your muscles – Pace breathing

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living.