The DBT Deck for Clients and Therapists: 101 Mindful Practices to Manage Distress, Regulate Emotions & Build Better Relationships

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From the Publisher

About the DBT Deck

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills help people find balance, be mindful in the moment, manage distress, regulate emotions, and have better relationships. These skills are captured in five main skills modules:

DialecticsMindfulnessDistress ToleranceEmotion RegulationInterpersonal Effectiveness

The module cards are color-coded and contain teachings, ideas for contemplation and practice suggestions and exercises that apply to DBT beginners as well as those seasoned in the approach.

Importantly, the skills work when people work the skills, so many of the cards have a ‘call to action.’ Follow the call by practicing your skills at the earliest opportunity. There are important differences between knowing and doing! You can move systematically through the deck, draw random cards, or both. Just be sure to use the deck everyday as you continue to build a more skillful and satisfying life. Because being skillful takes repeated practice, you cannot grow out of this deck — you can only grow more skillful.

Glance Inside of The DBT Deck




Tips from the Author

The DBT Deck includes 6 tips from author Lane Pederson. These 6 tips will help your clients and yourself get the most use out of these cards and exercises.


Dialectics relate to the synthesis of opposites. Instead of thinking in all-or-nothing, either-or, or black-and-white terms try seeing the shades of gray between the black and white. Practice being flexible in your thinking and finding middle-ground options in your behavior.


Mindfulness is choosing to be aware of this moment, on purpose, nonjudgmentally. When we are being mindful, we gather our attention and then choose to focus or concentrate it on what we want to observe or do.

In this moment, choose to focus your mind where you want it to be.

Perhaps you focus on your emotions, your thoughts, your bodily sensations, what you experience through your senses, or your surroundings.

Hold your attention there, being in that moment.




Distress Tolerance

Many people “cope” with stress and crisis by getting into behaviors that provide relief, but at a great cost. Examples of these ineffective behaviors include alcohol and substance use, self-injury, gambling, spending money, and overeating. As an alternative, we can learn and practice distress tolerance skills to manage stress and crisis in ways that help without having after effects that make our lives worse.

To start, make two lists. List one is your ineffective coping behaviors, and list two is your healthy coping behaviors (everyone has at least a few healthy coping behaviors). Your goal is to eliminate the behaviors on the first list while developing the behaviors on the second.

Emotion Regulation

Emotion regulation skills decrease vulnerabilities to intense emotions, increase positive emotions, build a sense of confidence and competence, and allow people to act opposite to behaviors that keep them stuck in unwanted emotions.

Emotion regulation skills have both immediate and long-term benefits, and as such should be practiced each day. Contemplate how your life would improve with more balanced emotions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

The practice of interpersonal effectiveness skills has three primary results:

An increase in your sense of self-respect.An increase in your ability to make and take care of relationships.An increase in getting your wants and needs met.

In dialectical behavior therapy, we have three acronyms that capture interpersonal skills: FAST, GIVE, and DEAR MAN. The cards in this section break down the acronyms into their components, with suggested practice behaviors.


About the Author

Lane Pederson, PsyD, LP, DBTC, has provided DBT training and consultation to over 10,000 professionals in the United States, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and Mexico. A real-world practitioner, Dr. Pederson co-owns Mental Health Systems, PC (MHS), one of the largest DBT-specialized practices in the United States. At MHS Dr. Pederson has developed DBT programs for adolescents, adults, people with dual disorders, and people with developmental disabilities. He has served as clinical and training director, has directed practice-based clinical outcome studies, and has overseen the care of thousands of clients in need of intensive outpatient services. He is the author of three DBT books. Lane Pederson is not affiliated or associated with Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, or her organization.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ PESI Publishing; 1st edition (February 15, 2019)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Cards ‏ : ‎ 98 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1683731441
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1683731443
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 3 x 1.5 x 5.25 inches


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