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DBT Emotion Regulation Skills

Updated March, 2022

What is Emotion?

The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) section of Emotion Regulation educates about emotions and provides skills to manage strong emotions.

First of all, the lesson is that emotions serve a biological function that help us survive. Emotions are the ultimate mindbody link. They are reactions to inner and outer perceptions and sensations that instantly prepare our bodies to react via the nervous and endocrine system. Emotions are normal.

Second of all, emotions are influenced by our innate, unique, individual temperament with which we are born and by environmental factors. We develop habitual interpretation of events. Our reactions are reinforced over time and become habitual and ingrained in our neuronal network.

Emotion regulation skills challenge our ingrained, reinforced, habitual reactions and provide new ways to behave when feeling emotionally overwhelmed.

DBT Emotion Regulation Skill Set Includes:

DBT Emotion Regulation skills include:

  • Biological basis for emotions

  • How to identify and describe emotions in a nuanced manner

  • Check the Facts

  • Opposite Action

  • Problem Solving

  • ABC


  • Pleasant Events List

  • Values and Priorities Clarification

Useful DBT Skills Training articles:


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