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The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance

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A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing co A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively. In order to make use of these techniques, you need to build skills in four key areas-distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, a collaborative effort from three esteemed authors, offers straightforward, step-by-step exercises for learning these concepts and putting them to work for real and lasting change. Start by working on the introductory exercises and, after making progress, move on to the advanced-skills chapters. Whether you are a professional or a general reader, whether you use this book to support work done in therapy or as the basis for self-help, you'll benefit from this clear and practical guide to better managing your emotions. This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit — an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.


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A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing co A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively. In order to make use of these techniques, you need to build skills in four key areas-distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, a collaborative effort from three esteemed authors, offers straightforward, step-by-step exercises for learning these concepts and putting them to work for real and lasting change. Start by working on the introductory exercises and, after making progress, move on to the advanced-skills chapters. Whether you are a professional or a general reader, whether you use this book to support work done in therapy or as the basis for self-help, you'll benefit from this clear and practical guide to better managing your emotions. This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit — an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.

30 review for The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Songs and Sonnets

    I've tried out three DBT self-help books, and this one is by far the best. It's well laid out, easy to understand and very user-friendly. It teaches you mindfulness techniques as well as skills for getting through a crisis, improving mood, and getting your needs met in relationships. I've found these particularly useful for coping with stress. One of the things I like about this book is it doesn't make any assumptions about the reader, or target a particular mental health problem. DBT was origin I've tried out three DBT self-help books, and this one is by far the best. It's well laid out, easy to understand and very user-friendly. It teaches you mindfulness techniques as well as skills for getting through a crisis, improving mood, and getting your needs met in relationships. I've found these particularly useful for coping with stress. One of the things I like about this book is it doesn't make any assumptions about the reader, or target a particular mental health problem. DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, but this book is equally suitable for people who want to learn DBT skills to tackle other issues. The other DBT books I've read were Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life by Scott Spradlin and Depressed and Anxious by Thomas Marra. The former is very much aimed at people with BPD, and I couldn't relate to a lot of it. It also goes into a lot of detail on some aspects of DBT, but is sketchy about others. Depressed & Anxious was a very difficult book to understand, and I gave up after one and a half chapters. So if you're interested in DBT, whatever your diagnosis, in my opinion The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook is the one to try!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    As a therapist, I'm always on the lookout for self-help books that I can recommend to clients. In the process, I'm often lucky enough to benefit from the material as well. That absolutely happened with this workbook. The authors do a great job laying out the principles of DBT in clear language accessible to any lay person. The pacing of the book makes it practical. Explanations are interspersed with exercises to put new ideas/behaviors into practice. Examples are given throughout to illustrate t As a therapist, I'm always on the lookout for self-help books that I can recommend to clients. In the process, I'm often lucky enough to benefit from the material as well. That absolutely happened with this workbook. The authors do a great job laying out the principles of DBT in clear language accessible to any lay person. The pacing of the book makes it practical. Explanations are interspersed with exercises to put new ideas/behaviors into practice. Examples are given throughout to illustrate the ideas. In particular, I appreciated the explanations and exercises targeting distress tolerance. If you or someone you are close to has a hard time getting over unpleasant emotions OR shuts down whenever emotions show up, this is a great book to explore. The Interpersonal Effectiveness skills might be a little harder to implement on your own but would be a wonderful adjunct to therapy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marisa Bennett

    It seems that many people do NOT want to use great books like this to effect change in their lives that ensure a much higher quality of life. This is not the simplest workbook, but doing it, and then asking your therapist to work on sections where you see you struggle is a heck of a lot better than doing nothing! This workbook is excellent! It works if you work!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    If I only had read the first chapter of the book, I would have given it more stars. The second chapter is very reliant on religion / spirituality, which is incredibly unhelpful for those of us who are not religious and actually have trauma from religion. Also, as a scientist, I found the misinformation and conflation of scientific information to make is seem magical and divine to be extremely dishonest and disturbing. Upon googling the authors of the book, I discovered that one runs a Christian If I only had read the first chapter of the book, I would have given it more stars. The second chapter is very reliant on religion / spirituality, which is incredibly unhelpful for those of us who are not religious and actually have trauma from religion. Also, as a scientist, I found the misinformation and conflation of scientific information to make is seem magical and divine to be extremely dishonest and disturbing. Upon googling the authors of the book, I discovered that one runs a Christian Leadership program. Religious beliefs should be kept far away from medicine, including Psychiatry and psychology. If this man were my psychiatrist, I would complain to the Department oh Health.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ✨Bean's Books✨

    Amazing workbook! Everything is well laid out and arranged. Subjects are very well explained. The exercises are easy to follow but really make you dive into yourself. The book has helped me be more present in the "now" and to be much more mindful of my actions, my surroundings and my emotions and reactions. I would definitely recommend this workbook to anyone needing DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) help. Amazing workbook! Everything is well laid out and arranged. Subjects are very well explained. The exercises are easy to follow but really make you dive into yourself. The book has helped me be more present in the "now" and to be much more mindful of my actions, my surroundings and my emotions and reactions. I would definitely recommend this workbook to anyone needing DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) help.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Murgatroyd

    This one was a lot of work! I feel like I should get some college credits for this. But it was also very helpful. I feel like I have gotten better at practicing mindfulness to calm myself from panic attacks and other scary situations. And I have learned better to remember to be mindful in the first place. Very helpful book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Great book for people with overwhelming feelings. I wish I had read this book before ruining my romantic relationships. But, after this book, I am sure I am able to find the way to cope with my crisis.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carlton Brown

    Well worth the read for those wishing to develop their emotional intelligence, and learn news skills to help you cope with difficult interactions and relationships. Whether you have low emotional intelligence (EQ), borderline autistic tendencies, or suffer from anger, anxiety-depression, or other difficult emotions; you will find value in this book. The book is divided into four main sections that initially introduce you to, then further explore skills for; distress tolerance, mindfulness, emoti Well worth the read for those wishing to develop their emotional intelligence, and learn news skills to help you cope with difficult interactions and relationships. Whether you have low emotional intelligence (EQ), borderline autistic tendencies, or suffer from anger, anxiety-depression, or other difficult emotions; you will find value in this book. The book is divided into four main sections that initially introduce you to, then further explore skills for; distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. This is a “how to manual” full of great insight, knowledge, and practical skills exercises which really do make a difference – if you do the work! This is an information dense book, and if you are serious then you will likely need to keep reading it for it to more fully sink in (or is that just my limitation!!?). This is a lifelong journey and this book your companion if you need to rebalance your IQ : EQ balance and work on your interpersonal effectiveness skills. There’s no easy way out, and the work needs to be done! This is a very helpful book in my view - and a one which sat on my bookshelf for many years until the time was right.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matteo Ressa

    Life changing I wish I would have read this 20 years ago. To read again and again, practicing every day the worksheets. Enlightening.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaela McNeil

    This book was recommended to me because I have complex PTSD. I found that the ideas behind the chapters -- about mindfulness and emotional regulation, etc. -- to be helpful, but in practice the book was difficult to follow. For instance, chapter 1 talks about distress tolerance, showing readers how destructive behaviors lead to feeling better temporarily but long term have detrimental effects towards feeling "better." The workbook has a few worksheets in this chapter to come up with coping strat This book was recommended to me because I have complex PTSD. I found that the ideas behind the chapters -- about mindfulness and emotional regulation, etc. -- to be helpful, but in practice the book was difficult to follow. For instance, chapter 1 talks about distress tolerance, showing readers how destructive behaviors lead to feeling better temporarily but long term have detrimental effects towards feeling "better." The workbook has a few worksheets in this chapter to come up with coping strategies that are healthy. So, when I started reading the second chapter, I assumed that the workbook would follow up with some sort of guideline about how to put this into practice. However, within the first few paragraphs of the second chapter, the workbook states something along the lines of "now that you've been practicing these coping strategies for a while." The book gave no indication as to when or how to implement these practices or how long I should practice before moving on to the next chapter. TL;DR Good info, but as a workbook it was confusing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    If it's DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and you suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar, addiction etc Get this books. If you learn your coping skills, and emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal relation.... This book and DBT which is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy WILL help you. If it's DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and you suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar, addiction etc Get this books. If you learn your coping skills, and emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal relation.... This book and DBT which is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy WILL help you.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen Lukens

    Fantastic book on how to get mindful, communicate better and get out of your head and the victim mentality.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    I recently did a DBT intensive outpatient program (IOP), but I actually started in a CBT group so I didn't do the entire course of the DBT program. The book has a lot of worksheets, which is basically what I wanted and one of the things I liked most about the IOP, so I'm slowly going to work through the old skills again and the new ones I missed. I recently did a DBT intensive outpatient program (IOP), but I actually started in a CBT group so I didn't do the entire course of the DBT program. The book has a lot of worksheets, which is basically what I wanted and one of the things I liked most about the IOP, so I'm slowly going to work through the old skills again and the new ones I missed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J. Gonzalez- Blitz

    Good techniques, but seems similar to CBT in many ways. Would like to know more about radical acceptance and mindfulness.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Liddle

    Lots of exercises.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amalie

    So, I tend to be wary of self-help books, because although comforting to read, the information rarely sticks in my mind. For that to happen, you need to incorporate it into your daily routine or actively change your behaviour. Too many self-help books merely try changing your mindset, which isn't enough. Anyway, when I first discovered this book, I'd never heard of DBT before. I was intrigued and curious about it, especially when it seemed like something that could potentially be highly benefici So, I tend to be wary of self-help books, because although comforting to read, the information rarely sticks in my mind. For that to happen, you need to incorporate it into your daily routine or actively change your behaviour. Too many self-help books merely try changing your mindset, which isn't enough. Anyway, when I first discovered this book, I'd never heard of DBT before. I was intrigued and curious about it, especially when it seemed like something that could potentially be highly beneficial for me. I thought that even if it wouldn't be, it'd still be interesting to learn about since psychology as a topic interests me. The fact that this is a workbook also gave me some hope that it might be easier to implement its ideas into my life. I quickly learned DBT was originally designed to treat or help people with BPD cope. I'm not personally diagnosed with BPD but I do suffer from a series of other mental health issues including anxiety, depression and autism, although I occasionally have BPD tendencies. This book hardly speaks of BPD though, but instead uses the term "overwhelming emotions". I found that very inclusive because after having read it, I definitely see how DBT, or at least parts of it, could be beneficial to a much wider range of people. My immediate opinion is that I really, really enjoyed the experience of this workbook. Is it perfect? Definitely not. I even considered giving it 3 stars, but thought, after all, it deserved more because of how helpful it is and I'd strongly recommend it to anyone considering buying it. However, my three main issues with it were 1. the writing (which was too dry, repetitive and tedious for my liking), 2. how heavily it relied on exercises instead of explaining the concepts more thoroughly and how to use them in your day-to-day life, and 3. the layout. It jumped around a lot and the order was confusing and irritating. Personally, I also think mindfulness should have been the first chapter. But oh well... On the upside, this book is full of positive insight, practical ways to cope with distress short-termed and long-termed, how to be more mindful in terms of your thoughts and emotions, and lastly, how to deal with pain and conflict in relationships. Everything it preaches comes from a pretty empathetic place, both in regards to yourself and others, which urges the reader to ideally become more "emotionally intelligent". Also, the terms "wise mind" and "radical acceptance" were both new to me, and I found them incredibly enlightening, so I'll hopefully keep remembering and using them. I'll probably have to take re-skim the entirety of it and create notes for myself in order to not forget everything it taught me but that's okay. I'd imagine that ideally, it's more effective to use in a therapy setting, but if you for whatever reason can't attend therapy, this is for sure better than nothing! Also worth noting: When I began reading this book and doing the exercises (not all but shh), which is only a few weeks ago, I was in an extremely bad place. I feel a lot better already and I'll give this book credit for helping me out quite a bit!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Lawson

    Lately I’ve been studying the principles and practices of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. DBT is an innovative new approach that is proving itself to be one of the most effective forms of therapy for people with emotion regulation issues and even extreme personality disorders. One thing I’ve noticed about DBT is that it teaches all the psychological tools most of us failed to receive as children, such as mindfulness, radical acceptance, and various conflict resolution skills. In effect, therapist Lately I’ve been studying the principles and practices of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. DBT is an innovative new approach that is proving itself to be one of the most effective forms of therapy for people with emotion regulation issues and even extreme personality disorders. One thing I’ve noticed about DBT is that it teaches all the psychological tools most of us failed to receive as children, such as mindfulness, radical acceptance, and various conflict resolution skills. In effect, therapists are attempting to provide as a corrective measure what was lacking as a preventative measure when their clients were young. Of course there is always more to the story when it comes to individual cases, so don’t take this reductionist observation too far. In general, however, I think it holds true. It supports my conviction about the all-importance of a healthy, nurturing childhood, and how society forces itself to play catch-up later on with many destructive patterns of human behavior all because we dropped the ball when our kids were young. So my hat goes off to the creators and practitioners of DBT, CBT, and every other form of cognitive and behavioral therapy that is helping people find relief from their troubles. Whole-hearted living is hard work at any stage of life. But it’s so much harder on the back end than the front. We parents need to step up our game, first by dealing with our own issues and then by providing our kids with the tools they need to cope with the unavoidable stress of life in healthy, transformative ways. At any rate, this is an excellent workbook for people of any age. I’ll be using it myself and getting a few copies to share with friends.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Very easy to follow book with helpful skills and exercises based on DBT. I have recently been researching Dialectical Behavior Therapy as a treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder for a friend and really enjoyed learning about mindfulness. I found that the mindfulness skills could be used in my own life and wanted to delve a bit deeper into all of DBT. In reading this book though I realized that while most would consider me sensitive and my emotions even I would admit can sometimes be over Very easy to follow book with helpful skills and exercises based on DBT. I have recently been researching Dialectical Behavior Therapy as a treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder for a friend and really enjoyed learning about mindfulness. I found that the mindfulness skills could be used in my own life and wanted to delve a bit deeper into all of DBT. In reading this book though I realized that while most would consider me sensitive and my emotions even I would admit can sometimes be overactive this book is more than I needed. I think this book would work best for someone who suffers from extreme emotions and reactions who wants to control those, especially in the moment. For me my emotions/thoughts seem to plague me most when I am by myself so I predict I would find mindfulness more helpful by itself. I found the book a good read and while it specifically doesn't mention Borderline Personality Disorder by name I think it would be very helpful for someone suffering from symptoms of that disorder. If someone cannot find DBT skills training near them finding a do-it-yourself guide such as this one would be a great start to sorting out your emotions and working towards regulating them more successfully. I wonder how it compares to the DBT workbook by Marsha Linehan specifically for Borderline Personality Disorder.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Linda Robinson

    I need to practice some interpersonal effectiveness on the friend that recommended I read this book. As Mike Hoolihan says in Martin Amis' Night Train, "I felt a great failure of tolerance in me." Motive unknown, well meant certainly. If I had the time, I'd work on all exercises - there is value truly - but I do have to prioritize with a limited number of years left for me on this planet. There are 1,741 to dos on my list ahead of dialectical modification. I'm sure in my next dimension, distress I need to practice some interpersonal effectiveness on the friend that recommended I read this book. As Mike Hoolihan says in Martin Amis' Night Train, "I felt a great failure of tolerance in me." Motive unknown, well meant certainly. If I had the time, I'd work on all exercises - there is value truly - but I do have to prioritize with a limited number of years left for me on this planet. There are 1,741 to dos on my list ahead of dialectical modification. I'm sure in my next dimension, distress tolerance isn't an issue.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lee Cadwallader-Allan

    Good book to work through in a therapy setting. Covered this over the course of 7 weeks in a group setting. It is a book you have to regularly refer too though otherwise the skills learnt are wasted. Would have been good to have an audio CD with some of the exercises on as a lot are suited to listening and following than reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    an elf

    An incredibly worthwhile tool to manage existing in the world, especially if you've developed unhelpful coping mechanisms from trauma. My copy is full of sticky notes and highlighted sections, the skills taught are life-long practices that work if you work them. An incredibly worthwhile tool to manage existing in the world, especially if you've developed unhelpful coping mechanisms from trauma. My copy is full of sticky notes and highlighted sections, the skills taught are life-long practices that work if you work them.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jesseca

    useful skills for therapy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tara Hawkins

    Great for anyone who struggles with overwhelming emotions or ineffective communication.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Frrobins

    I'm a therapist, and I loved so many of the activities and ideas in this book and have been integrating them into the work with my clients, who have been responding well to them. Highly recommend! I'm a therapist, and I loved so many of the activities and ideas in this book and have been integrating them into the work with my clients, who have been responding well to them. Highly recommend!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I come to this book from an unconventional place. I'm a teacher. 2-year-olds. I know a lot of people who have mental health challenges, and, in many ways, those challenges mirror the struggles of my students. Having overwhelming emotions is basically the definition of the 2-year-old experience. Moreover, the way you're taught to deal with (or not deal with, or feel shame about, or suppress) your emotions in childhood is known to be predictive of your habits and skills in adulthood. So, I started I come to this book from an unconventional place. I'm a teacher. 2-year-olds. I know a lot of people who have mental health challenges, and, in many ways, those challenges mirror the struggles of my students. Having overwhelming emotions is basically the definition of the 2-year-old experience. Moreover, the way you're taught to deal with (or not deal with, or feel shame about, or suppress) your emotions in childhood is known to be predictive of your habits and skills in adulthood. So, I started to think: neural pathways are being formed at 2. Habits of mind are being developed. Social-emotional curricula are all the rage right now because of that, but they often don't have much relation to the methods that are proven to work for adults. So, I started to wonder: what would happen if I went straight to the source, took skills that had been demonstrated to be effective in adults, and taught them to 2-year-olds? Was it even possible? Could it work as a kind of prophylactic to help children build healthy coping skills and the corresponding neural networks in early childhood, so they would have the tools to respond in healthy and life-giving ways in adulthood? Having read this book, I was surprised at how many of the skills can be adapted for young children--and I found that the results were more or less immediate. My kids really responded to it, especially the coping statements. Yesterday, one of my students left for an older class, and her best friend was devastated. Before reading this, I probably would have responded just with a combination of comfortm listening, and distraction. Because of this book, I started with a coping statement: "this will be a hard day, but you will get through it, and I will help you." His whole body relaxed just hearing that. I had the same experience talking with a child anout the intensity of her anger. She was absolutely overcome by her anger. Rather than simply asking her to name her feeling, as I would have done before, I also asked the intensity of the feeling--whether she was a little mad or very mad. She said she was a little mad, and, immediately, her body relaxed, as if the act of saying it out loud was itself calming. I think the biggest insight for me was the extent to which secondary emotions (which I had never heard of) mediate the emotional experience. My first student could handle feeling lonely once his secondary emotions of feeling scared and overwhelmed by that lonliness subsided. My second student was less scared and overwhelmed by her angry feelings once she identified that she was actually only a little angry. The other big takeaway for me was to ditch the language most social-emotional education programs to describe coping skills. These programs often talk about things you can do to help yourself feel better. But that goes against the concept of radical acceptance of emotions and implies that you should deal with emotions by getting rid of them. Because of this book, I've started talking about coping skills as a way to take care of yourself when you feel ____. The coping skills are exactly the same, but the kids are really responding differently with that change in language. We may never know if any of this helps mitigate the effects of any trauma and/or mental illness the children experience in their lives (though I certainly hope so), but it's definitely increased the self-confidence, resilience, and basic well-being of my students. I'll definitely continue learning about it in the future. The book itself is highly informative, accessible, and well-organized. It's laid out in such a way that it's easy to read the first time and easy to use as a reference later. The activities are clear and easy to implement.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Malikov

    This book definitely includes skills, techniques, frames-of-mind, and exercises that would help anyone with BPD---or anyone with overwhelming emotions---if understood, practiced, and applied. However, this book suffers from the same draw-back that every self-help or how-to book does: its efficacy to affect change depends on the reader's effort. By this metric, a how-to book should be judged on these criteria: 1) The prose makes the reader want to continue reading 2) How easy the book makes the mate This book definitely includes skills, techniques, frames-of-mind, and exercises that would help anyone with BPD---or anyone with overwhelming emotions---if understood, practiced, and applied. However, this book suffers from the same draw-back that every self-help or how-to book does: its efficacy to affect change depends on the reader's effort. By this metric, a how-to book should be judged on these criteria: 1) The prose makes the reader want to continue reading 2) How easy the book makes the material for the reader to learn and recall 3) How well the book anticipates any difficulty the reader may face in applying the material 4) Whether or not there are better books on the same topic I will say that this book excels at 3). And it's worth owning just for this aspect. The authors definitely are aware that readers of this topic are likely to have difficulty following through on applying the material, and they go out of their way---as best as they can in a book--to give the reader the tools necessary to affect positive change in the reader's life. This books is however mediocre on 1) and 2). The writing was certainly clear and easy to follow, but I wouldn't say it was impactful. I also definitely feel like I've learned something, but I would say that it also feels like there's more to be learned that the authors could have conveyed with a few edits. Having read it once, I can tell you that the four DBT skills are Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness (the core one), Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. I can tell you that the most important techniques are REST, radical acceptance, wise mind, beginner's mind, mindful breathing, emotion exposure, defusion (of thoughts, judgments, and emotions), active listening, assertiveness, and negotiation skills. But I am left thirsty for more structure to these topics that I am going to have to develop myself on a second read-thru. There is a sentence rather late in the book that explains that the four areas of DBT do overlap quite a bit and share techniques. This is the kind of comment that should come basically in the first chapter. This is the first book on DBT that I have read. So, I will have to come back and address 4) later.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I read this book per the recommendation of a counselor/member of my support system and I was skeptical due to the word "workbook." I wrongly assumed it would feel childish and/or not relevant. I was hooked once I started reading the first page. The author(s) describe the process of experiencing overwhelming emotions in a way that makes you feel heard and understood. This establishment of trust early on helped me take the exercises seriously. It was wonderful to come across a mental health resour I read this book per the recommendation of a counselor/member of my support system and I was skeptical due to the word "workbook." I wrongly assumed it would feel childish and/or not relevant. I was hooked once I started reading the first page. The author(s) describe the process of experiencing overwhelming emotions in a way that makes you feel heard and understood. This establishment of trust early on helped me take the exercises seriously. It was wonderful to come across a mental health resource that wasn't preachy or reminiscent of the "just think differently" books that are currently trending (I am not discounting those books but those were not what I needed). I loved the practical, USEFUL skills suggested to help find better approaches to coping with struggles you are facing. The organization of the book also helps readers advance in their ability to cope. Once initial skills are mastered to achieve a sense of stability in an uncomfortable situation, they help readers begin to master mindfulness as well. I myself have some mental "illness" diagnoses but I recommend this book to everyone really, because who doesn't need help recognizing the fleeting nature of emotions and the developing the ability to cope with difficult times (as we all go through them even if in different ways).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I'm a social worker who has struggled to get on board with DBT for a number of years. It was always explained in a way that felt confusing, overly complicated for clients, and that would require memorization of too many acronyms. I've known that DBT is a popular treatment modality and that certain clients respond well to it, but I was about to give up trying to understand it. This is the first book that has presented DBT in a way that I can get on board with. I don't know how well the workbook go I'm a social worker who has struggled to get on board with DBT for a number of years. It was always explained in a way that felt confusing, overly complicated for clients, and that would require memorization of too many acronyms. I've known that DBT is a popular treatment modality and that certain clients respond well to it, but I was about to give up trying to understand it. This is the first book that has presented DBT in a way that I can get on board with. I don't know how well the workbook goes without participating in group or individual therapy because it still seems a bit complicated, but in the proper setting I think this book can be a good tool, especially for those who like lists, homework, and concrete things to take away from therapy. What I liked about the book: 1) It's direct, nothing is sugar coated and people need to hear this stuff 2) It touches on the main points for people who are really struggling (distress tolerance, mindfulness/acceptance/understanding, and interpersonal effectiveness/social skills). 3) The examples used in the book are diverse making it easy for many people to relate What I don't like about the book: 1) It's not a stand alone book to be used on your own - a therapist is needed to work through many of these things such as suicidal behaviors 2) The mindfulness chapters are too drawn out and repetitive

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stevie

    This book truly changed my life. I will recommend it for the rest of my life. The workbook provides help with accepting one's situation and making healthy changes. Through it, I have learned how to self soothe myself, find calm in this rough time, and listen to myself more. There is enough information on each topic to give a great overview of DBT. The activities are really fascinating and were actually fun to do. The reasons for the four stars are that the worksheets are hard to make copies of an This book truly changed my life. I will recommend it for the rest of my life. The workbook provides help with accepting one's situation and making healthy changes. Through it, I have learned how to self soothe myself, find calm in this rough time, and listen to myself more. There is enough information on each topic to give a great overview of DBT. The activities are really fascinating and were actually fun to do. The reasons for the four stars are that the worksheets are hard to make copies of and there are way too many exercises that require you to be in a zen mood..except that you need to stop and read the instructions. The worksheets, thankfully enough, are available online and the book gives links. But for the meditation exercises, there is nothing. No mention of a CD or guided MP3 or anything. So just realize that before you get into it. You will probably just have to record those before you get started. I already plan on keeping and referring to my copy for years to come. Really great for anybody who is looking for help with emotion regulation and stability.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    I took my time with this one. I saturated myself in it. I bought this for my practice so that I could lend it to clients or take worksheets from it for the same purpose, but it turned quickly into a resource for my personal use and I’ll have to buy another copy for my practice. This resource is for anyone looking to regulate themselves better: feelings, thoughts, interpersonally, and in times of distress. It’s an excellent, excellent tool with wide application and I will go back to it again and I took my time with this one. I saturated myself in it. I bought this for my practice so that I could lend it to clients or take worksheets from it for the same purpose, but it turned quickly into a resource for my personal use and I’ll have to buy another copy for my practice. This resource is for anyone looking to regulate themselves better: feelings, thoughts, interpersonally, and in times of distress. It’s an excellent, excellent tool with wide application and I will go back to it again and again. I believe this book has changed me. I tend towards being a reactive person. Some tools have helped me learn how to slow down, how to see the good, how to create some distance between my thoughts, feelings, and myself. I am so grateful to have this personal resource. I do recommend you do each of the exercises rather than just read over them. Mark the book up! Don’t be afraid to sink your teeth into it.

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