DBT Coping Skills List

Discover how to use Carepatron's DBT Coping Skills List template to help your clients deal with difficult situations. Download our free PDF guide today.

By Priya Singh on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is a DBT Coping Skills List?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that emphasizes developing coping skills to manage emotional turbulence and reduce self-destructive behaviors. It combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness, initially developed primarily derived from Buddhist meditative practice.

DBT aims to support patients during a stressful situation by helping them develop mindfulness skills that teach them how to regulate emotions, stay present in the moment, improve interpersonal effectiveness, and handle distressing situations more effectively. These acquired skills can help individuals lead healthier and more productive lives, fostering emotional resilience and a balanced state of mind.

During sessions, therapists may use a DBT Coping Skills List to help their clients identify techniques they can use to address harmful behaviors or situations. This list may include techniques such as self-soothing, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and mindful awareness. These skills can be adapted to the individual's needs and used when coping skills are required for distress tolerance.

Using a DBT Coping Skills List allows clients to develop an effective strategy that will help them manage their emotions, stay present in the moment, enhance distress tolerance skills, and respond to stressful situations more effectively. Healthcare practitioners involved in dialectical behavior therapy can effectively develop a DBT treatment plan to support their clients and provide optimal care.

Printable DBT Coping Skills List

Download this DBT Coping Skills List to help clients improve their coping skills.

How does it work?

The printable DBT Coping Skills List can be easily applied in dialectical behavioral therapy to develop distress tolerance skills like emotional regulation, processing difficult feelings, and overcoming unhealthy behaviors necessary to manage a crisis. Here's how to use the template:

Step 1: Access the DBT Coping Skills List

You can access the DBT Coping Skills List here or download the PDF version to print a physical copy using the link below:

Download the DBT Coping Skills List here.

Step 2: Explain the purpose

Discuss the purpose and the structure of the list with your client. Take care to clarify how it may supplement their DBT treatment, provide access to helpful coping mechanisms, and inform effective skills training.

Step 3: Client engages with the list

Give ample time for your client to work through the list, ensuring they have a firm grasp on each section and extending support as needed. This may involve providing recommendations for skills training or activities to practice emotion regulation, such as paced breathing.

Step 4: Evaluate and track progress

Maintain communication with your client as they navigate the list and enhance their DBT skills. Encourage them to document their progress and make necessary adjustments. Doing so will not only provide insight for you as a practitioner, but allow clients opportunities to reflect on their journey.

Step 5: Apply DBT skills in practice

Collaborate with your client to devise a plan for integrating newly acquired skills into their daily routine. This process will likely involve repetition and practicing of a specific DBT skill, or set of major skills using a DBT repeat technique worksheet.

DBT Coping Skills List example (sample)

To deepen your understanding of how. DBT Coping Skills List PDF can be used in practice; we have created an example. You can use this sample as a reference when assisting your client during DBT sessions or skill training. It may also be used as an educational resource for clients to identify which skills may require more advancement.

You can view the sample here or download the PDF copy.

Download the free DBT Coping Skills List Example (Sample)

DBT Coping Skills List Example (Sample)

When to use the DBT Coping Skills List?

You can use our free DBT Coping Skills List template to help your client find the right DBT skills for their needs. You can also utilize it to:

Assist your client during high-stress situations

When confronting stressful or triggering events, your clients can refer to this list and employ the DBT skills they find most effective to address the situation. This may involve emotional regulation skills to self-soothe, and overcome intense emotions during painful situations.

Help in therapy homework

The list can be useful for therapy assignments or skills training between sessions. Using the list as a reference to practice coping skills outlined on the list helps reinforce learning. This may involve practicing interpersonal effectiveness skills and social skills during assertiveness training to enhance interpersonal relationships.

Encourage self-reflection

The list can inspire introspection, allowing clients to identify behavioral or emotional patterns affecting their abilities to overcome situations. This may enhance their awareness of negative emotions or harmful behaviors that may serve as barriers to healthy emotions and behaviors and help guide them toward the most beneficial coping skills.

Support during a crisis or emotional distress

The DBT Coping Skills List is a great resource for clients experiencing emotional distress or a crisis, providing them with effective strategies for emotional regulation and management of responses.

Benefits of the DBT Coping Skills List

Our free DBT Coping Skills is an invaluable resource that can be applied and in various scenarios that involve helping clients tolerate distressing situations. The following are a few of the benefits this resource may hold for health practitioners, such as behavioral therapists and psychologists, as well as their clients:

It's pre-made and customizable

The DBT Coping Skills List is available in an easy-to-access PDF format that you can customize according to your client's needs. You can tweak the list to include your client's most appropriate coping strategies or adjust the client's list as they gain DBT skills or overcome unhealthy behaviors.

It's based on DBT principles

The list is designed with Dialectical Behavior Therapy in mind, so you can trust that it provides effective and evidence-based methods of dealing with intense situations. As a result, practitioners and clients involved in dialectical behavior therapy can readily use this resource for emotional regulation or distress tolerance.

It's versatile

You can use the template in a variety of settings, from individual therapy to group activities related to dialectical behavior therapy. It's also an excellent tool for teaching mindfulness skills, radical acceptance, and other DBT skills and principles to enhance mental health.

It helps with progress tracking

The template is an effective way for you and your client to track progress. By ticking off the coping strategies they've successfully employed, clients can gain a sense of achievement and see tangible proof of their progress. Furthermore, practitioners can use the list as a form of clinical documentation that monitors the client's journey in dialectical behavior therapy, as well as identify skills that may require further development for effective skills training.

Who uses DBT Coping Skills Lists?
Who uses DBT Coping Skills Lists?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses DBT Coping Skills Lists?

Mental health professionals specializing in dialectical behavior therapy can use DBT Coping Skills List to guide clients in effectively addressing their challenges.

What are the benefits of DBT Coping Skills Lists?

DBT Coping Skills Lists can help clients express and manage emotions, work towards resolving interpersonal conflicts, enhance awareness of their thoughts and feelings, and develop healthier problem-solving strategies.

When to use DBT Coping Skills Lists?

You can use a DBT Coping Skills List as part of your overall therapeutic practice. It's especially useful when trying to help clients develop healthier coping strategies when they feel overwhelmed or emotionally dysregulated.

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