Improve Your Life with DBT Skills


Do you want to increase you ability to survive a crisis, have more control over your emotions, improve your relationships, be more present and less judgmental?   Dialectical Behavioral Therapy  is for you.  

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a model of therapy created by Marsha Linehan specifically to treat her clients who were struggling with chronic suicidal ideation and engaging in self-injury.  The therapy is very effective at decreasing suffering and ending problematic behaviors.  But DBT skills can be helpful, even if your pain is not life threatening.


I've been teaching DBT skills for many years to many different types of people from those who were overwhelmed with work stress to people struggling with parenthood to women trying to manage the symptoms of menopause.   They were all able to benefit from the skills.  During one group session, a woman participating said that she thought everyone should learn DBT skills.  She said she and the other group members were more emotionally competent then any other people she knew.  The fact is that DBT skills are good life skills from which anyone can benefit.


  1. Distress Tolerance Skills:  Everyone has distress, trauma, pain...some kind of discomfort at one time or another.  When you ignore, fight against, deny or otherwise avoid the pain it only grows causing suffering.  These skills teach you accept reality and get through crisis without making the situation worse
  2. Emotion Regulation Skills:  In this emotion phobic society, many of us have difficulty expressing our emotions.  These skills teach you to understand and experience emotions more comfortably.  The ultimate goal is to give you more control over your emotions rather than feeling like your emotions have control over you.
  3. Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills:  Whether it’s the boss, the kids, the parents or the partner, we all need to improve our communication with someone.  With these skills you learn to communicate more effectively so you can get your needs met without damaging your relationships.
  4. Mindfulness Skills (Skills for Paying Attention):  Mindfulness is often associated with meditation where in a structured setting you practice paying attention to the moment, noticing your thoughts and feelings without judgment.  These skills teach you to bring the practice of meditation into the activity of life.  Mindfulness has enormous benefits including: decreasing depression and anxiety, improving sleep, increasing pain tolerance and strengthening relationships.


So the question is who couldn't benefit from DBT Skills?  Stay tuned.  Next week, I'll go into more depth about how to practice mindfulness, and the benefits of incorporating it into your life.


Starting this Fall, I will be running a DBT Skills Group for adults.  For information on the group email or call 917-721-2251.