DBT Diaries – Week 3

Week three of DBT and we’re in the new location. I was very apprehensive attending because I wasn’t sure where I was going but thankfully my husband was available to give me a lift. I’m not overly keen on the new location it’s very clinical and we’ve been told they’re not allowed to decorate or put anything on the walls. It feels more like a hospital or classroom than a therapy area but once again I’m keeping an open mind and seeing how I get on.

*Please remember not all groups are run the same way and your experiences may be different to mine. There is no right or wrong as everyone is different, this is just meant as a little insight into the topic for those who are interested.


This week we moved onto distress tolerance skills. These skills aim to allow us to survive crisis situations without making them worse, accept reality and replace suffering with the possibility of moving forward and ultimately becoming free of urges, demands and intense emotions. Just writing that fills me with hope – doesn’t it sound amazing?

The two skills focused on in this session were the STOP skill and Pros and Cons:


S – Do not just react. Stop and stay in control

T – Take a step back. Don’t let yourself act impulsively

O – Observe. Notice what is going on and your thoughts and feelings

P – Proceed mindfully. Act with awareness and consider the most effective way to deal           with the situation.

Pros and Cons:

Exactly what it says on the tin. It can be in your head or written out on paper whichever is most effective for you. But if you’re in a distressing situation it’s a great way to gain some perspective. I tend to use Pros and Cons as a way f proceeding mindfully when using the stop skill.

We discussed various ideas for practicing these skills and were given handouts to take away and complete as homework detailing when we used the skills and how it helped us cope with a crisis or distressing situation.


I have found that a lot of the skills taught so far are skills I have already and use quite regularly. It’s a little bit disheartening as I was hoping to learn something to really help me, but it is only week three and I think I need to be patient and stick with it – I can’t expect miracles after all. I have decided to buy the DBT skills and worksheets handout book though as I wasn’t to have a look through and see what is coming up and if there are other handouts I may find helpful.

The building was cold and felt a bit unwelcoming, to be honest. The therapists tried their best to counteract it but I thought they seemed a little out of sorts as well. Still, at least I know to take a scarf or wear something warm when I go now. There’s a positive to be found in everything if you look hard enough.

I’ll let you know how I get on next week – wish me luck.


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