Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Handbook

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy


       Skills Handbook




             Fulton State Hospital
                January, 2004




Adapted for use from Linehan, M.M. (1993). Skills Training
Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York:
Guilford Press.
...willingness is saying yes to the mystery of being alive in
each moment. It bows in some kind of reverence to the
wonder of life itself...
                                    ---Gerald May




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         Dialectical Behavior Therapy--Skills Handbook
                       Table of Contents
I.    Opening Material
                Skills Poem                                            5
                Group Guidelines                                       6
                Dialectics                                             7
                Validation                                             10

II.   Core Mindfulness                                                 13
                States of Mind                                         14
                What Skills                                            15
                How Skills                                             16
                Observing and Describing Thoughts (HW)                 17
                Noticing and Managing Judgment (HW)                    18

III. Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills                                19
              Goals of Interpersonal Effectiveness                     20
              DEARMAN Skills                                           21
              DEARMAN Worksheet (HW)                                   23
              GIVE Skills                                              24
              FAST Skills                                              25
              Goals and Priorities (HW)                                26
              Factors in Reducing Interpersonal Effectiveness          27
              Myths about Interpersonal Effectiveness                  28
              Self-Encouragement                                       29
              Observing and Describing Interpersonal Situations (HW)   30
              Expressing Emotions Effectively (HW)                     31
              Guidelines for Sharing and Listening                     32
              Extra Skills for Solving Conflicts with Others           33
              Choices about Intensity                                  34
              Interpersonal Effectiveness Practice (HW)                36

IV.   Emotion Regulation Skills                                        38
                Why learn these skills?                                39
                Healthy Perspectives on Emotion                        40
                About Emotions                                         41
                How (ALL) Emotions Help Us                             42
                Our Unique Responses                                   43
                Knowing the Difference (HW)                            44
                Naming Emotions (HW)                                   45
                                                                            3
Emotion Regulation Skills (Continued)
                  The Way Emotions Work                           46
                  Myths We Live By (HW)                           47
                  Strength Building Self-Statements               48
                  Observing and Describing Emotions (HW)          49
                  Reducing Vulnerability (Stay STRONG)            51
                  Suggestions for Good Sleep                      52
                  My Plan for Staying out of Emotion Mind (HW)    53
                  Mastering My World (HW)                         54
                  Steps for Increasing Positive Experiences       55
                  Pleasant Events List                            56
                  Letting Go of Emotional Suffering               57
                  Changing Emotions: Opposite to Emotion Action   58
                  Opposite to Emotion Action Worksheet (HW)       59

 V.    Distress Tolerance Skills                                  60
                  Crisis Survival Strategies                      61
                  Self-Soothe with the 5 Senses                   62
                  Improve the Moment                              63
                  Thinking of Pros and Cons                       64
                  Pros and Cons Worksheet (HW)                    65
                  Urge Management                                 66
                  Observing Your Breathe Exercises                67
                  Half-Smiling Exercises                          68
                  Awareness Exercises                             70
                  Radical Acceptance                              71
                  Reality Acceptance Worksheet (HW)               72
                  Willingness                                     73
                  Finding Willingness Worksheet                   74
                  Management of Obsessions                        75

 VI.   Emotions Glossary                                          76
                  Anger                                           77
                  Fear                                            80
                  Joy                                             83
                  Love                                            85
                  Sadness                                         87
                  Shame                                           90
                  Other Important Emotion Words                   92

 VII. Skills List Cheat Sheet                                     93

                                                                       4
       The wind whistles
          in the bamboo
     and the bamboo dances.

      When the wind stops,
     the bamboo grows still.

            A silver bird
    flies over the autumn lake.

        When it has passed,
   the lake's surface does not try
to hold on to the image of the bird.

Vietnamese Dhyana Master Huong Hai




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