Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Exploring Core Mindfulness Skills, Part 2

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Exploring Core Mindfulness Skills, Part 2
Core Mindfulness Skills, Part 2

Before reading this article, please make sure to read these first:

What to do skills


  • Sensing without describing or labelling.
  • Be curious about what you feel.
  • Just notice how you feel, without trying to make feelings stronger, weaker, go away or last longer.
  • See how long your feeling lasts, and if it changes
  • We practice this outside so than we can then practice inside of ourselves.
  • Step back within yourself rather than outside yourself.
  • Practise:
  1. Experience your hand on a cool surface.
  2. Imagine your mind is a conveyor belt with thoughts passing by.
  3. Try to sense your stomach.
  4. When you become distracted, observe yourself as you become aware you were distracted


  • Using words to label what you observe and experience, in detail.
  • Describing a thought or feeling does not make it a fact. It is your opinion.
  • Use “fact” words, call a thought “just a thought”, call a feeling “just a feeling”.
  • Try to avoid emotional words. Don’t paint a colorful picture or magnify the situations with words.
  • Describing isn’t judging. Nothing is right nor wrong. It just is.
  • Practise: Label what is happening to you, e.g. walking – heel down, toes down, heel up, toes up …


  • Joining in with an activity, without self-consciousness.
  • Acting without observing or describing (throw yourself into something).
  • Being in the moment. Get “lost” in the activity.
  • No thoughts about the future. Just be in the here and now.
  • Allow yourself to be natural.
  • Practise: Sharing you thoughts with the group without censuring, Dancing at a party.

How to do it skills


  • NOT labelling something as good or bad, valuable or worthwhile, not should or should not.
  • In between good and bad there is a huge range of (grey) experiences.
  • Difference between what people do and who they are.
  • Unglue your feelings and opinions from the facts. Focus on the “what, when, who and where”.
  • When you find yourself judging, DON’T JUDGE YOUR JUDGING.


  • Focus on one thing at a time rather than multitask. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, focus on the conversation.
  • Attend to each thing you do fully.
  • If other actions, thoughts or strong feelings distract you, let go of the distractions and go back to what you are doing – again and again and again.
  • Not doing things automatically.
  • Make specific worry time for yourself if you need to.


  • Do what works, what you have to do, not what you want.
  • Stay away from thoughts of “right”, “wrong”, “fair” and “unfair”.
  • Sometimes sacrifice is needed to achieve a goal.
  • You need to know what your long term goals and aims are.
  • Opposite of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
  • Play by the rules. You need to meet the needs of the situation you are in, not the situation you wish you were in.
  • Let go of vengeance, useless anger and righteousness that hurts you and doesn’t work.

Reference: Akeso Crescent Clinic

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