DBT workbook (An insight)

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This blog post presents a list of some effective DBT workbooks. 

We will also briefly discuss what DBT workbooks are and what DBT is. 

What are DBT workbooks?

DBT workbooks are books that educate individuals who are either the therapist or even individuals who want to get a little bit of mental self-care in their daily routine about what Dialectical behavioural therapy is. 

These books often include either a detailed description and introduction about what Dialectical behavioural therapy is, what it does, as well as provide scientific evidence as to its development and efficacy in clinical treatment of mental disorders and challenges. 

DBT workbooks also include instructions as to how DBT is conducted in the case that it is a working manual for therapists, along with instructions the workbook also includes discussion about the various processes in DBT , and also addresses issues that come up in therapy. 

On the other hand if it is a workbook for the general individual who wants to apply DBT into their self-care routines, it includes worksheets that are designed to help individuals reflect on various issues related to their emotions, mindfulness, and distress tolerance. 

These DBT workbooks help individuals to challenge to make lifestyle or behavioural changes that allow them to become more effective in their interpersonal relationships, behaviours and conduct. 

The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook 

– Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley

This book has been written to be used by both general readers as well as therapists who want to apply DBT skills and techniques in their practice of counselling and psychotherapy. 

The book provides psychoeducational descriptions of what DBT is, what it does, and also provides educational material about skills, techniques, and introductory experiences that can help the reader apply it into their lives as well as their practice. 

The book focuses and helps the reader build skills in four key areas–distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness and provides step-by-step exercises for learning these concepts and putting them to work in their lives or the lives of their clients for effective change. 

The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy & Validation Paperback 

by Alan E. Fruzetti (Author)

This book has been written as a manual or a guide for both couples as well as a family of couples therapist or counsellor to help couples who are high in conflict. 

The book focuses on helping couples regulate their emotions as well as increase their distress tolerance by providing techniques which the readers can de-escalate conflict by regulating emotions and distress before it grows into a full blown fight. 

The book also provides techniques that allow the couples to share their fears, their vulnerabilities, as well as validate each other’s feelings while also learning various couples techniques that allow them to develop acceptance and closeness in the relationship.

The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time.

-–Professor Dzung X Vo (Author)

The Mindful Teen offers mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to help teens deal with stress. 

The book provides simple and easy skills and techniques that a teen can use to help them deal with daily stress effectively while also building inner strength and resilience through mindfulness, 

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) Paperback 

by Jon Kabat-Zinn 

This particular book for children also includes a 60 min guide for children to exercise mindfulness for children so that they can deal with anxiety, develop healthier focus and also regulate difficult emotions. 

Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions: DBT Skills to Help Your Teen Navigate Emotional and Behavioural Challenges.  

— Pat Harvey and Britt Rathbone. 

Parenting a teen is a book for parents who want to help their children deal with difficult emotions. 

It not only provides skills to teach young teens to regulate difficult emotions and also change and replace unhelpful behaviours with more helpful ones but also helps parents learn skills with which they can help their child.

Relationship Skills 101 for Teens: Your Guide to Dealing with Daily Drama, Stress, and Difficult Emotions Using DBT. 

—Sheri Van Dijk MSW.

This book outlines three core skills for teenagers to help them manage their emotions and develop healthier and more positive relationships.

The book teaches teens about mindfulness, communication, as well as regulating emotions when it comes to themselves as well as their relationships with friends and their daily lives. 

DBT Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy 

– Sheri Van Dijk

DBT Made Simple is a guide for therapists and mental health professionals who want to learn what DBT is and how they can apply it in their practice.

It provides detailed information about what it is, how it developed, and also explains various strategies with case examples and worksheets that can be used by the therapist in their professional growth. 

The Mindfulness Solution for Intense Emotions: Take Control of Borderline Personality Disorder with DBT 

– Cedar R. Koons and Marsha M. Linehan

The Mindfulness Solution for Intense Emotions: Take Control of Borderline Personality Disorder with DBT is a book for independent readers or the clients in therapy that helps individuals learn about the various skills used in DBT. 

The book teaches clients various techniques and skills related to mindfulness and emotional regulation which proves to be effectively useful for  people affected with a borderline personality disorder (BPD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe depression, and other emotion regulation problems.

Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life 

– Sheri Van Dijk

This book is an exceptional resource for individuals struggling to cope with emotional dis-regulation, particularly in individuals who are affected by Borderline personality disorder.

The book teaches readers how to develop a balanced life by effectively dealing with unwanted fears, anxieties, accepting themselves and others, as well as regulated emotions without letting them take over.

The book can be used by a therapist as well as recommended to their clients for individual use and learning. 

DBT skills training Manual

-by Marsha Linehand

The DBT skills training Manual was published in 1993, written by Marsha Linehand who is known as the developer of DBT- dialectical Behavioural therapy. 

This comprehensive manual and resource provides tools that allow therapists and practitioners to implement and learn DBT skills as well as use it for implementing DBT training. 

The original edition of this manual was written at a time when research on DBT in clinical settings was limited.

The only research conducted on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was in 1991- a clinical trial studying the application and use of DBT for the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD).

This particular manual consists of teaching notes, handouts, and worksheets which can be used to revee, reflect, and better teach the process and application of DBT skills in therapy. 

As of today, this particular manual has been used for over two decades by hundreds of thousands of practitioners and has been revised for the latest and second edition. 

The manual consists of the following and covers issues related to:

  • Orienting clients to DBT which involves introducing DBT to clients and groups as well as psycho educating them about the process of DBT. 
  • Teaching notes for development and cultivation of techniques and skills related to mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance skills. 

What Is DBT?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy that emphasises the importance of developing skills to deal with highly emotional situations. 

This form of therapy was created for the treatment of suicidal thoughts and is now considered as an effective treatment of emotional regulation dysfunction disorders such as Borderline disorder.

This form of therapy utilises a supportive and collaborative relationship between patient/client and therapist to address issues paying attention to self-destructive behaviours and focusing on learning social and coping skills. 

DBT also focuses on issues related to improving Quality of life and also coping with PTSD related problems. 

DBT as a form of psychotherapy was developed by Marsha Linehan when she noticed that the basic CBT approach did not work well for personality disorders- specifically Borderline Personality disorders.

Her DBT approach has been tailored to help clients accept their own ways of thinking, feeling, behaving, and also cultivate validations- internal validation towards their own emotional needs.

DBT utilises four skills:

  • Mindfulness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Emotional regulation

Using these four skills, the individual goes through four stages of treatment which include:

  • Moving to gain control by setting and building up positive relationships and help them understand their emotions better to understand it and be more aware of it.
  • Express emotions in an appropriate manner as opposed to avoiding, shutting out or shutting down, or by being explosive.
  • Learning to solve problems as a part of their effort to live a better life so clients are taught problem solving techniques as well as help them differentiate serious problems as opposed to normal day to day challenges. 
  • Feeling complete as a person where the client learns how to feel that sense of completeness by learning how to focus on building a sense of well being for themselves. 


This blog post presented a list of some effective DBT workbooks. 

We have also briefly discussed what DBT workbooks are and what DBT is.

FAQ related to DBT workbook

Can I do DBT on my own?

Unlike CBT, DBT is more complex and often requires a therapist to guide and teach the skills as well as assist in the learning of these skills in a client. 

Are DBT workbooks helpful?

DBT workbooks are helpful when they are used alongside a therapist’s guidance; however, it might not be wholly effective when used by an individual with a diagnosed disorder as these concepts tend to be complex and may need the support of a trained professional to tackle major issues and challenges. 

Can you do DBT Online?

It is possible to do DBT online therapy with a licensed professional from the comfort of your own home.

Is DBT a form of CBT?

DBT is a type of CBT as well as an integrated form of therapy that incorporates other forms of psychotherapy. 

How many DBT skills are there?

Four skills that DBT utilises are:

  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the experience of being present with the here and now. It is the act of paying attention to yourself, your body, and the world around you.
  • Emotional regulation where an individual influences the emotions they have, even impacts when they have them, and also includes the experience of how they feel and express their emotions. 
  • Distress tolerance: Distress tolerance is understood as a person’s ability to manage emotional distress in actual or perceived distressing situations. 
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Interpersonal effectiveness is very important because it helps us maintain various goals. 

What is mindfulness in DBT?

Mindfulness is a state of being and more proficiently a way of life where the individual actively imagines in the act of cultivating full awareness of the present. 

This awareness of the presence is related to both the world outside and around the individual and the world within the individual in terms of thoughts, behaviours and feelings.


Riopel, L.What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)? Positive Psychology. Retrieved on 27th January 2022. 

DBT® skills training manual, 2nd ed. APA Psycnet. Retrieved on 27th January 2022. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-05780-000

Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT® skills training manual (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

Ackerman. C. 20 DBT Worksheets and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills. Positive Psychology. Retrieved on 27th January 2022. https://positivepsychology.com/dbt-dialectical-behavior-therapy/

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