• Amber ANN LISW-CP, MPH, CHES

DBT Distress Tolerance Skills

Updated: May 30


Are you experiencing emotional distress or crisis? These emotion regulation skills may help you cope.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is one of my favorite modalities. I love that it incorporates mindfulness and mind-body approaches, like the ones in this graphic, to promote emotion regulation, stress management and successful relationships. It also prioritizes an individual's strengths while validating their unique experiences.

Originally developed by Dr. Marsha Lineham in the 1980s, DBT was created to help persons living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) thrive. The approach has since been adapted to treat other conditions to include substance misuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The term dialectical represents the philosophy that all things are comprised of two opposing forces and that change occurs when a “dialogue” occurs between these two forces. For example, you can practice self-acceptance while still working to improve yourself.

Interested in receiving Dialectical Behavior Therapy? Seek out a “Certified DBT Clinician” . Click here for a resource directory. Are you a therapist seeking certification or training in DBT? Check out Behavior Tech, an organization founded by Dr. Lineham to train and certify mental health professionals in DBT.


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