At some point in our lives we all have to cope with distress and pain. Either it can be physical, like a bee sting or a broken arm, or it can be emotional, like sadness or anger. In both cases, the pain is unavoidable and often unpredictable. Distress tolerance offers coping strategies for those struggling to manage overwhelming emotions.

Here are some Decider Skills and Advanced DBT Distress Tolerance Techniques:

Describe your Emotion

Describe your Emotion This is the fourth exercise of the Basic Mindfulness Skills, that will help you recognise and focus on your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. This exercise will ask you to choose an emotion and then describe that emotion by drawing it and exploring it. Ideally, you should choose an emotion that you’re… Continue reading Describe your Emotion

Three Minutes of Thought

Three Minutes of Thought This exercise will help you recognise and focus on your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in your body. In the exercise, you will look and identify the number of thoughts you have in three minute period. This will allow you to become more mindful of just how your mind really works… Continue reading Three Minutes of Thought


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

Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Taste

Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Taste Self-soothing Using Your Sense of Taste is an example of DBT Our sense of Taste is very powerful. Often it can trigger memories and emotions therefore, it’s important to find tastes that are appetising to you. Our tongue has distinct regions of taste buds on it to differentiate flavours… Continue reading Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Taste


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