Problems and Solutions Guide

DBT Skills Training is organized into 4 skills sets listed on the right under “Solutions”. The “Problems” the skills help to resolve are listed on the left.  You will notice that some problems fit within more than one category depending on the function of the behavior. Everything will not apply to everyone but having two or three problems in each category may indicate that DBT would be helpful for you.

Problems Solutions
Poor sense of self: Feelings of emptiness, disassociation, unstable identity, invalidation, low self-worth Mindfulness skills increases ability to control your attention and, therefore, more skillfully manage intense emotions, grounding, observing self and others without judgment.
Extreme mood swings: Highly reactive to others feelings and behaviors, numbing, rage, anxiety and panic, depression Emotion regulation skills increases understanding of the role and function of emotions, skills to increase positive and decrease negative emotions
Out of control behaviors: Impulsivity, self-harm, disassociation addiction, aggression, rage, therapy interfering behaviors Distress tolerance skills increases ability to distract & self-soothe in times of distress, balancing acceptance of the moment with change in the way you respond to distress
Interpersonal chaos and/or isolation: Intense and conflictual relationships, social isolation, fears of letting go, rejection, criticism, abandonment Interpersonal effectiveness skills increases empathy for others while maintaining a firm sense of self, skills for effectively asking for what you need and want