DBT Distress Tolerance Skills are a set of tools designed to help you cope with difficult emotions and situations in the moment. These skills can help you manage intense feelings of stress, pain, or discomfort without making them worse or engaging in harmful behaviors.
- S: Stop and pause before reacting.
- T: Take a deep breath and be mindful of the present moment.
- O: Observe your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
- P: Proceed with a plan of action that is consistent with your values and goals.
The STOP skill is used to interrupt impulsive or automatic reactions in the face of distress. It helps you to pause and take a step back before reacting, and to consider what might be the best course of action in the moment.
- T: Temperature: Use a cold or warm compress to change your body temperature.
- I: Intense exercise: Engage in physical activity to release tension and improve mood.
- P: Paced breathing: Use deep breathing techniques to calm the mind and body.
- P: Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and relax different muscle groups to release tension.
The TIPP skill is used to regulate your physiological state in the face of distress. It helps you to calm your mind and body by using different techniques to change your body temperature, release tension, and improve your mood.
Pros and Cons:
- Identify the pros and cons of different options for dealing with a difficult situation.
- Help to weigh the costs and benefits of different actions before making a decision.
The Pros and Cons skill is used to evaluate the potential consequences of different actions when facing a difficult situation. This skill helps you to weigh the costs and benefits of different options before making a decision, in order to choose the one that is most consistent with your values and goals.
- A: Activities: Engage in activities that are enjoyable or distracting.
- C: Contributions: Find ways to help others or make a positive impact.
- C: Comparisons: Compare yourself to others in positive ways.
- E: Emotions: Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions.
- P: Pushing Away: Avoid pushing away or denying your emotions.
- T: Thoughts: Challenge negative or unrealistic thoughts.
- S: Sensations: Observe and describe physical sensations in your body.
The ACCEPTS skill is used to increase your ability to tolerate distress by accepting and allowing difficult emotions and experiences. It helps you to find ways to distract yourself, help others, change negative thoughts, and observe physical sensations, instead of pushing them away or denying them.
- Use sensory techniques such as listening to music, reading, or taking a warm bath.
- Engage in self-care activities such as eating a healthy meal or getting a good night’s sleep.
- Use affirmations or positive self-talk.
The Self-Soothe skill is used to care for yourself in the face of distress. It helps you to engage in activities that are comforting and nurturing, such as listening to music, reading, or taking a warm bath, as well as engaging in self-care activities such as eating a healthy meal or getting a good night’s sleep, or using affirmations or positive self-talk.
- I: Increase positive emotions by doing things that bring you pleasure or joy.
- M: Find meaning or purpose in the situation.
- P: Take purposeful action that is consistent with your values and goals.
- R: Connect with others.
- O: Observe and describe physical sensations in your body.
- V: Value yourself and your experiences.
- E: Encourage yourself with positive self-talk.
The IMPROVE skill is used to shift your focus from distress to things that improve your mood and well-being. It helps you to identify activities that bring you pleasure or joy, find meaning or purpose in the situation, connect with others, and engage in positive self-talk.
- Physically smile, even if you don’t feel like it.
- The act of smiling can help to change your mood and decrease stress.
The Half Smile skill is used to change your mood and reduce stress. It helps you to physically smile, even if you don’t feel like it, as the act of smiling can have a positive impact on your mood and decrease stress.
- Accepting reality as it is, without trying to change it or avoid it.
- Recognizing that resistance and struggle only create more distress.
- Choosing to move forward in a way that is consistent with your values and goals.
The Radical Acceptance skill is used to accept the reality of a difficult situation, without trying to change it or avoid it. It helps you to recognize that resistance and struggle only create more distress, and to choose to move forward in a way that is consistent with your values and goals.