A key component to the DBT to treating mental illness, according to the journal Psychiatry, is the teaching of concrete skills that assist individuals in being more effective in various areas of their life. These skills include: mindfulness skills, interpersonal effectiveness skills, distress tolerance skills, and emotion regulation skills.
Mindfulness skills Mindfulness is the “core” skill in DBT. Mindfulness involves observing, describing, and allowing emotions to occur, without judging them or trying to ignore them. Mindfulness allows individuals to enjoy the present moment.
Distress tolerance skills: The Center for Clinical Interventions defines distress tolerance as one’s ability to to experience painful emotions without acting on them through suicide, self-harm or lashing out.
Emotion regulation skills help one identify and understand their feelings so they are not as overwhelmed by intense emotions or mood swings. Individuals have to understand their emotions before changing them.
Interpersonal effectiveness skills: These skills assist individuals in being more assertive and effective when expressing one’s beliefs, needs and setting limits. These skills focus on how to get needs met while also maintaining healthy relationships with others and feeling good about oneself.