I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet

Help your clients express their wants, needs, and feelings in their relationships with the “I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet.”

By Patricia Buenaventura on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy, or is evidence-based psychotherapy rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and Eastern philosophical concepts. It was developed in the 1980s by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan.

Before, clients used it as a treatment only for bipolar disorder. However, thanks to the evolution and adaptation of the technique, it is now used to treat other mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

DBT sessions can be conducted in three ways: individual sessions, group therapy sessions, and telephone crisis/phone coaching. However, only therapists with DBT certification, psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses can plan and lead their sessions.

Whether they decide to use one or the other, the referring physician aims to teach the client how to accept their desires and emotions while making positive life changes. Specifically, the referring physician seeks to train, equip, and hone the four skills in the client that are unique to dialectical behavioral therapy. They are as follows:

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being more aware and accepting of one's experiences and thoughts in the present.

Distress Tolerance

Distress Tolerance is overcoming challenging times without resorting to self-destructive coping techniques.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal Effectiveness is knowing and being firm with one's feelings and wanting to improve one’s relationships.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional Regulation deals with primary and first emotions before turning into other or secondary ones.

Printable I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet

Download this I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet to guide clients in accepting emotions and making positive changes.

How to use the I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet:

Access and Download the Template

Access and download the printable and digital copy of the “I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet” by doing either of the following:

  • Click the “Use Template” or “Download Template” button.
  • Search for “I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet” in Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or the app. 

Fill the Template

Since our template has straightforward instructions, you can give your client a copy of the worksheet and have them fill it out. But if your client is stuck or unsure how to complete the worksheet, you can explain the sections by giving examples or showing them the sample template we’ve provided below. 

One more thing: given that the template may be answered by a client outside the four walls of your clinic over a while, it’s best if you assure them that they can contact you if they have any further clarifications or questions. 

Discuss the Template

After they complete the worksheet, you can discuss the template with your patient and assist them with improving their skill of using “I” statements to communicate more effectively. 

Securely Store

No doubt, the completed worksheet carries sensitive information about the client. Therefore, you must ask your client to store the physical copy at a secure location and the digital copy on Carepatron, a HIPAA-compliant EHR where you can only limit access to the document to you, the client, and relevant parties. 

I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet Example

Here’s a downloadable PDF file of a filled-out “I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet” sample template. You can use this document as a guide or educational resource to help explain to your client how to answer the worksheet better. However, note that the answers provided in the sample are fictional. 

Download this I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet Example:

I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet Example

When would you use this I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet?

Mental health practitioners with DBT certification or licensed psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, social workers, and family therapists can use the I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet in their client’s treatment plan. Though it’s designed for all types of clients, it’ll be beneficial for clients who:

  • Want to improve their relationships
  • Find it challenging to express their wants, needs, and feelings
  • Feel like they are giving too much or receiving too little in a relationship

If you have another type of client you want to give the worksheet, we’ll leave it up to you and your expertise to decide. Furthermore, we will leave it up to you to decide at what point in the treatment plan you will give the client the worksheet. 

What are the benefits of using this I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet?

Improved Self-Awareness

To answer the first section and complete the table’s 2nd column, the patient must learn to be self-aware of the “you” statements they often use and their thoughts/feelings. This constant request to be aware of these to complete the worksheet effectively will hone and improve the skill of being more self-aware. 

Empowering 

The exercise and its instructions will ask the client to reflect and put into action what they’ve learned - changing “you” statements to “I” statements. By providing a different strategy for communicating more effectively, the client may feel more confident and empowered. 

Improve Relationships

The worksheet can improve the patient's relationship since the goal is to teach the client how to express their needs, wants, and feelings more effectively in relationships. 

Easily Accessible 

Our free “I” Statements to Communicate Effectively worksheet is easily fillable and accessible on a PDF editor on any gadget you have. 

How long does it usually take to accomplish the I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet?
How long does it usually take to accomplish the I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet?

Commonly asked questions

How long does it usually take to accomplish the I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet?

It usually takes at least 30 minutes for the client to answer the I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet. 

How can the I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet help a person?

The I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet can help people communicate their needs, wants, and feelings more effectively to improve their relationships with their loved ones.

When is this I Statements for Effective Communication DBT Worksheet best used?

It’s used when the client has relationship issues that can be resolved with more effective communication or those who want to improve their relationship with friends, family, co-workers, etc. 

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