Problematic behaviors evolve as a way to cope with a situation or attempt to solve a problem. While these behaviors might provide temporary relief, they often are not effective in the long-term. DBT assumes that clients are doing the best they can, AND they need to learn new behaviors in all relevant contexts.
The function of DBT Skills is to help enhance a client’s capabilities. There are four skills taught in DBT:
- Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
- Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
- Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
- Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that you want to change
Skills training is frequently taught in groups during weekly sessions, and the full skills curriculum runs for 24 weeks. Group leaders assign homework to help clients practice the skills in their everyday lives. Briefer schedules that teach only a subset of the skills have also been developed for particular populations and settings.
Learn DBT Skills: