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

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  3,433 ratings  ·  109 reviews
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
Paperback, 241 pages
Published 2007 by New Harbinger Publications
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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
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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 ...more
Marisa Bennett
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
✨Sumi's Books✨
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Carlton Brown
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Matteo Ressa
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life changing

I wish I would have read this 20 years ago. To read again and again, practicing every day the worksheets. Enlightening.
Kaela McNeil
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Karen Lukens
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book on how to get mindful, communicate better and get out of your head and the victim mentality.
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.
J. Gonzalez- Blitz
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-health
Good techniques, but seems similar to CBT in many ways. Would like to know more about radical acceptance and mindfulness.
Sarah Liddle
Lots of exercises.
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, psychology-co
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
Linda Robinson
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Lee Cadwallader-Allan
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-health
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.
useful skills for therapy
Tara Hawkins
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Great for anyone who struggles with overwhelming emotions or ineffective communication.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
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!
Bryan Malikov
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-work
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
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What I loved most about this book was how it was organized. The structure of the book: dealing with distress, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal skills, along with basic and advanced subsections, really helped me understand DBT.

My favorite parts in this workbook were the exercises on observing your emotions, especially in representing these emotions with metaphors. This mindfulness technique helped me understand some deep, dark things inside. The metaphor-making activities were i
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Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor of psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, and author of more than 30 professional psychology and self-help books which have sold a combined total of more than 3 million copies. He is co-founder of independent self-help publisher, New Harbinger Publications. He was the clinical director of Haight Ashbury Psychological Services in San Francisco for twenty ...more

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