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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Marsha Linehan's model of DBT

has many skills designed for

Balancing Acceptance & Change

Here is a brief review of "What" some are and "How" we practice them


The Mindfulness module is about training our attention so that we can notice more and make more of an impact on our lived experience with less effort

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When we observe, we practice wordless watching. We take in as much information as we can with our 5 senses and work to be as objective as possible with the information we get.



Describing comes after observing.


With this skill, we work to state our observations in clear and concise words that promote understanding. 



Participating comes after Observe & Describe. This skill is when we throw ourselves in to an experience with a sense of play & release the urge to get lost in our thoughts or self-judgments

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When we remove judgments, we peel away layers of interpretation until just the facts remain. We discern rather than evaluate. We let go of judging ourselves & others

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Being effective means "doing what works." Some days we have more energy than others. Some choices serve our long-term goals rather than short term indulgences. 



The core skill of Mindfulness is bringing our attention back - over and over. When we are eating, eat. When we are walking, we walk. One thing at a time.  Training our attention is a skill that pays dividends. 

Emotion Regulation

Unlike Mindfulness which focuses on Acceptance,

Emotion Regulation is a module based on creating Change.  


The Acceptance/Change Dialectic is a core component of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy​ 


Let's explore the ABC's of Emotion Regulation!​ 

* "Antidote" Skills are willingness-dependent. Your required dosage may vary. Apply as-needed for a minimum of 15 minutes per practice or play with the skills daily for best results

Father and Son Playing

Accumulating Positives

We can Accumulate Positives with both short-term and long-term goals in mind.


On a given day, we might only have energy to do something small for ourselves - like going for a walk or making a favorite cup of tea.


On other days, we might be able to do fun things that align with our long-term goals - like making time to enjoy with the friends we want in our lives for years, or spending creative energy on a project that aligns with our values. 

The important part is just to intentionally do something kind for yourself.


...And then remind yourself how effective you're being at giving yourself the gift of positive emotions. 


Building Mastery

The Antidote to Depression*

Building Mastery is my favorite way to lean into a mindset of "Never failing, only LEARNING"

Every bit of effort we put into a new skill or task is an opportunity to build mastery. 


Did you try something new? Or play with a new way of doing something you're trying to refine?


Guess who just built some mastery!

When we can tell ourselves at the end of each day: 

"I put effort into learning even just one thing today"

...All of a sudden we can find a sense of being ok with how the whole day went. Get curious, and you can say goodbye to thoughts like "Wow did I just waste my whole day?" 

No. You didn't waste anything. You built some mastery. 

And that alone is enough. You are enough. Your effort is enough.

Interior Designer at Work

Coping Ahead

The Antidote to Anxiety*

No longer are we making a Plan A, Plan B, & every other letter of the alphabet. 

Nope. We're doing Plan A. We're just making it foolproof. 

Ok maybe more like Emotionproof

When we Cope Ahead, we think ahead to that upcoming situation causing us to stress. We imagine ourselves in it. 

- I know, it's tough. We're already past the hardest part, though -

Next, we imagine what it would look like to move through that moment of nervousness effectively.

Now we troubleshoot:


  • What might get in the way of me doing it the way I'd prefer? 

  • How will it feel in my body if that happens?

  • How can I move through (even that!) scenario effectively?

The last step is to intentionally give yourself a break after this exercise. Show your body that it's survivable.


Deal with the emotions and give yourself some compassion for the courage it took to think this way!

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