The Decider Skills use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to teach children, young people and adults the skills to recognise their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours, enabling them to monitor and manage their own emotions and mental health.

End or Mend

End or Mend Is this relationship healthy for me? How can I end or mend this relationship? Can I keep a door open? Focus on the problem, not the person When a disagreement turns to personal insults, raised voices, or mocking tones, the conversation is no longer productive. Be careful to focus on the problem… Continue reading End or Mend

Talk the Talk

Talk the Talk Communicate assertively. Smile – warm & friendly – relaxed – comfortable eye contact. Traits of Assertive Communicators • Clearly state needs and wants• Eye contact• Listens to others without interruption• Appropriate speaking volume• Steady tone of voice• Confident body language Assertiveness Tips Respect yourself. Your needs, wants, and rights are as important… Continue reading Talk the Talk

Crystal Clear

Crystal Clear Concise – Lucid & Logical – Emotion-free expression – Assertive – Realistic: these are some words that important to keep in mind when communicating with others. In order to ask for something out of the relationship with somebody, first you have to know what it is exactly that you want. This may not… Continue reading Crystal Clear


Reflect What can I learn about what happened? What went well? What didn’t go so well? What can I do differently next time? Reflections are a powerful tool to improve communication. This worksheet includes one page of education with an overview of how to use reflections (including tips and an example), followed by one page… Continue reading Reflect


Respect When interacting with others, to be effective, we want to keep the relationship in mind and do what we can to take care of it so it will continue and flourish, but never at the cost of our own values, self-respect, or needs. In any interpersonal situation, be mindful of these things to be… Continue reading Respect


Listen I have 2 ears and only one mouth! How can I show that I’m really listening? Play a short segment of a recorded music piece, or of a live instrumental performance.  Listen using reasonable mind.  Be analytical- (not judgmental)  just the facts.  Listen to the music logically.  Notice such things as what instruments are… Continue reading Listen

Pace and Plan

Pace and Plan P.A.C.EWhen considering what you’re going to do each day, PACE yourself –keep a healthy balance of activities which include work, rest and play. PlayFun activities which give you a sense of enjoyment. These caninclude solo activities, and those with family or friendsAchievePurposeful activities which give you a sense of achievement orworthwhile-ness. Examples:… Continue reading Pace and Plan


Balance The following skills will help you Everyone has these skills to a certain extent. We are all at least somewhat able to ask for something or say no. For example, you might be able to say no to more water at a restaurant but not to a friend asking for a favor. Maybe you… Continue reading Balance

Opposite Action

Opposite Action Doing the opposite of your emotional Urges There are several good reasons for feeling the way you feel, because how you feel is completely valid. The larger-problem is emotion-driven behaviour, because acting on emotions can often create destructive outcomes. For example: have you ever got angry and then you start shouting at somebody,… Continue reading Opposite Action

Sieve or Sponge

Sieve or Sponge? What thoughts am I sponging? What am I sieving? What can I start to notice instead? Over the years, we’ve developed a preferred way of dealing with our feelings, like habit or prejudice. We feel comfortable because we are used to it. However, it can mislead us, especially when we are down… Continue reading Sieve or Sponge

Name the Emotion

Name the Emotion Name your feelings When you’re feeling an emotion that is uncomfortable, unpleasant, or creating distress, take a moment to pause, take a deep breath, and name your emotion. Take an extra beat and get curious — find more specific words to define how you are feeling. In doing this, you activate your brain in a… Continue reading Name the Emotion

Self Care

Self Care Sleep – Eating & Exercise – Look at other factors – Find fun, achievement and enjoyment – every day. Be kind to yourself! Heres some activities you can do: If the thoughts are taking control and you are finding it hard to relax please refer to the next activity below: 1. Take a… Continue reading Self Care


Think Don’t believe everything you think! Thoughts are just thoughts. One Activity you can do is: Step One: Describe the Situation Think of a situation from the past where you felt overwhelmed with a lot of emotions. It can be about any aspect of your life. Describe the situation – what happened, where it happened, who… Continue reading Think

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry On Focus on your chosen slogan or positive self talk statement to help you cope during distressing times KEEP CALM and USE YOUR DBT SKILLS: Positive Self Talk ‘I can do it. ‘ ‘I’m good enough. ‘ ‘If I want to, I can. ‘ ‘It doesn’t matter if I make a mistake. Just intentionally… Continue reading Keep Calm and Carry On

Wise Mind

Wise Mind The wise mind is the ability to make healthy decisions about your life. Often, both intuition and wise mind are described as “feelings” that come from “the gut” or the stomach area. The exercise that follows will help you get more in touch with your gut feelings, both physically and mentally. This exercise… Continue reading Wise Mind

Fact or Opinion

Fact or Opinion Ask yourself: Is this thought fact or opinion? Come back to the FACTS! Have you ever regretted your response to a situation? In the moment, our initial “knee-jerk” reaction seems like the most compelling option. We yell, run away, or say things that we don’t mean because that’s how we feel in… Continue reading Fact or Opinion


Drift Am I drifting? Is my attention wandering? Bring attention back to my chosen focus. The goal of the grounding technique is to help you get in the here and now. When you are overwhelmed with emotions you often stopping being present in the moment, and drift off into an inner world of thoughts, or… Continue reading Drift


Focus Where is my focus of attention? What am I thinking about? Where do I want to focus? Explore a fruit: Use Observe and Describe to explore an orange. What are the visual features, what does it feel like, and what does it smell like? Now, slowly start to peel the orange and continue to… Continue reading Focus

This Moment

This Moment Focus on the here and now, in this moment. Say to yourself: ‘I am sitting’ or ‘I am walking’. ‘I am looking’ or ‘I am listening’. ‘I am breathing’. Notice the sensations of that activity in this moment. The DBT IMPROVE the Moment skills are intended as a menu of options you can… Continue reading This Moment


Observe Take the helicopter view! Pull back. What’s the bigger picture? Do you ever find your thoughts drift in the wrong direction? You are out taking a morning stroll, you want to be out enjoying the sunshine. But, your thoughts keep taking you off course. You keep thinking about whether you turned off the oven,… Continue reading Observe


Breathe Breathe Focus attention on the breath. Imagine a balloon inflating on the in-breath, and deflating on the out-breath. Belly breathing:It’s common to fall into the habit of shallow breathing only within your chest. Instead, try belly breathing, which is also known as diaphragmatic breathing. Start by finding a comfortable place to sit down or… Continue reading Breathe


Values Values What are my values? What is really important to me? What can I do that will help me take a step towards my chosen life direction? Values exist, whether you recognize them or not. Life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values – and when you make plans and decisions that… Continue reading Values

Soothe Bag

Soothe Bag When we are very distressed, it is difficult to think rationally and to decide how to help ourselves. We can therefore resort to using self-destructive behaviours which may help at that moment, but can cause other problems later and in the long-term. It can be useful to keep an `Emergency` or `Soothe` bag… Continue reading Soothe Bag

Right Now

Right Now Look For 5 Things You Can See: Notice the wood grain on the desk in front of you. Or the precise shape of your fingernails. Become aware of the glossy green of the plant in the corner. Take your time to really look and acknowledge what you see. Become Aware Of 4 Things You Can Touch: The… Continue reading Right Now

Turn the Mind

Turn the Mind TURN THE MIND Choose to take the new resourceful and helpful way. Use a skill! If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. DO ONE THING AT A TIME. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk.  When you are bathing, bathe.  When… Continue reading Turn the Mind

Do One Thing

Do One Thing Do One Thing Do One Thing. Choose something to do. Do it mindfully. How long for? 20 minutes! Distract yourself with pleasurable activities: 1. Talk to a friend on the telephone 2. Get out of your house: go for a walk or sit outside 3. Eat your favourite ice cream or favourite… Continue reading Do One Thing


Distract DISTRACT What can I do right now to help me focus on something else, instead of my distress? It’s important to call on your Wise Mind while using ACCEPTS. Distraction can all too easily turn to avoidance. One TV episode meant to take your mind off things can easily turn into a whole season and a… Continue reading Distract

It Will Pass

It Will Pass IT WILL PASS Thoughts and feelings come and go. Situations change. Sometimes all we can do is keep going. It will pass. Worksheets and Exercises below to help:


STOPP What is the STOP skill? STOP is an easy to remember mnemonic. Let’s look at what each letter stands for: S: Stop! Freeze in your tracks. Don’t move. Try visualizing a red STOP sign in front of you. Don’t react when your emotions are hot and filled with energy.Don’t let your emotions control you.… Continue reading Stopp


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