Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, & Distress Tolerance

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A Clear and Effective Approach to Learning DBT Skills

First developed for treating borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective as treatment for a range of other mental health problems, especially for those characterized by overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can improve your ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively. In order to make use of these techniques, you need to build skills in four key areas--distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

This book, a collaborative effort from three esteemed authors, offers straightforward, step-by-step exercises for learning these concepts and putting them to work for real and lasting change. Start by working on the introductory exercises and, after making progress, move on to the advanced-skills chapters. Whether you are a professional or a general reader, whether you use this book to support work done in therapy or as the basis for self-help, you'll benefit from this clear and practical guide to better managing your emotions.

The individual struggling with overwhelming emotions and DBT therapists will benefit significantly from this workbook. McKay, Wood and Brantley have expanded and translated DBT Skills, making Linehan's iconic work on emotional skill building even more accessible and easy to apply to everyday life.
--Kate Northcott, MA, MFT, is a DBT therapist in private practice with Mindfulness Therapy Associates and is director of New Perspectives Center for Counseling, a non-profit counseling center, in San Francisco, CA

Customer Reviews:

  • Provides sensible and realistic ways to help yourself
    I picked up the DBT workbook to learn how to help a good friend who suffers from bi-polar disorder. It improved our interactions with each other, and in working through the exercises I discovered practical ways to thwart depression and manage my own emotions. This book's for anyone who suffers from depression, anger, anxiety or just wants to have a little more control over their emotions....more info
  • Easy and Effective
    As a therapist, I think it's wonderful that DBT is now considered an effective therapy to use for various mental health needs. I find the workbook more user friendly than others I've tried and my clients are finding it cuts to the core of some basic difficulties they have in interpersonal interactions. It's simple, doesn't dull the reader's interest, and clients are telling me they are learning valuable skills....more info
    This is an easy review of the concepts presented by DBT founder Marsha Linehan. I am reviewing it with my psychologist and he is helping me to understand her phenominal new ways of living and being at peace with the daily distressors in life. Great workbook to have to heal yourself of mental and regular day to day stressors....more info
  • Very good for individual therapy
    This workbook is helpful for those in DBT therapy or just for individual self-help with managing emotions. In conjuntion with the DBT self-help website, this book has great information and tools....more info
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook
    Very practical, easy format for use with clients as an adjunct to therapy. Could be used without a therapist by motivated client. Is easy to understand and offers concrete examples of assignments to use throughout the week. ...more info
  • Very Different from Linehan's Workbook
    I went through DBT using copies of exercises from Linehan's 1993 workbook about 5 years ago, and I was interested in going through them again as a reminder. I wanted to have the original workbook because I wanted to make sure I had all the exercises at hand - you never know if you may have lost one over that long period of time. I thought the newer version of the book might be put together differently (I just didn't know *how* differently!), and that maybe together, the old and new would combine to make something possibly better. I am disappointed in the new book. There are a lot of differences. For example, Linehan's 1993 workbook offers more exercises and - to me - that seems to make it better. You can go through DBT at home with this new workbook, but you'll have fewer choices when it comes to figuring out what works best for you and you'll miss out on a lot that Linehan presented in her original. I almost returned this book. The only thing that made me decide to keep it was I thought maybe a different approach might make my experience complete. If I had to do it over again, I would purchase the original workbook by Linehan instead of this one. I plan to either get a copy of the original from my therapist (she's not certified in DBT, but she has had some exposure to it) or order a new copy. I'm still going to use this workbook. It offers ideas and gives a slightly different slant on some of the ideas in the original by Linehan. It's just not as flexible and is less likely to meet my particular needs as a result. ...more info
  • Excellent new DBT resource
    This book provides a valuable contribution to the psychiatric literature by translating Linehan's techniques for distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness into a clear and concise format. It can be used as both a self-help manual and a clinical reference for psychotherapists integrating DBT into their practice. It is an important addition to the growing body of manuals aimed at decreasing the psychological suffering of individuals coping with highly distressing emotions, thinking patterns, and behaviors....more info
  • looks good!
    just got this today, and from what i can see, this will be really helpful when working with many types of clients, not just BPD. i'm excited to use it! ...more info
  • Not Great for Individuals
    This is a great workbook, however it's not an easy thing to do on your own....more info
  • In depth and detailed skills training
    A huge amount of information presented in a systematic way. I bought two workbooks. The other by Scott Spradlin. Both have their strong points. Spradlins is simple and clear and an excellent first choice. It provides a selection of methods which would be useful to anyone. This volume has significantly more detail and much more indepth discussions. While it might be a bit overwhelming, it has so much information that it cannot help but be useful. My only complaint is that the book frequently uses examples that include self mutilation. For this reason I would not give it to anyone who has not thought of cutting as an option....more info
  • Learn mindfulness
    Outstanding workbook on DBT - easy to use
    Excellent exercises to assist with learning minfulness and emotion regulation....more info
  • Excellent start to changing my behavior, works well with the classes
    This workbook is a must have for anyone who's learning how to cope with distress and learning how to change their life so they have a better quality of life! I have a lot of childhood baggage that I've drug along with my 38 years of life and I'm ready to let it go. Along with taking out patient behavior health classes I'm changing into a new person. I wish I had learned these skills 30 years ago, it would have given me the skills to cope with adversity in a positive way.
    If your life has become unhealthy & unmanageable I would highly recommend you reading this book. If you're able to take classes at your local mental hospital facility that reinforces what your reading in the workbook. Have faith, don't give up and you will come out on top! The new skills learned will make your life a happy, healthy one for years to come!
    Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, & Distress Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)...more info
  • Great for getting started
    This is a great book for getting started in your own mindfulness journey towards healing from trauma, borderline personality disorder, and other psychological issues.

    It's far easier to understand and more practical to the lay person than Linehan's Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice: Applications across Disorders and Settingsthe big book with the red profile.

    If you're having trouble deciding which is more useful, select this one. It has useable, practical exercises that a clinician can immediately use. Thin on theory, but sometimes that's just what the Dr. ordered! ...more info
  • DBT made easy !
    Wow... was waiting for something like this for a long time. Excellent book, and very easy to use. A great resource for my clients....more info
  • This book offers hope.
    I've been in therapy off and on my whole life and I have never gotten to the root of my problem until this book. It's easy to read and offers actual problem solving exercises you can do in minutes. I bought one for a relative for her birthday and another one for a friend that is in a month long in-patient program. It's been life changing for me!
    ...more info
  • helpful
    This is definitely a helpful book although I would definitely suggest using it as a partner to counseling and not just by itself. There can be more to get out of it being able to talk about it with someone....more info
    I found this book very useful and practical in helping my clients. I recommend this book wholeheartedly especially to fresh graduates....more info
  • DBT
    This is an easy to understand workbook that is right on target with the issues facing many people who self harm. The book flows well and has handouts that allow clients to explore their underlying thoughts and feelings....more info
  • Amazing resource.
    I've read a lot of self-help, pop-psych books targeted at dealing with strong emotions. Most of them seemed true & helpful at the time I was reading them, but fell apart when I tried applying them to life. This book is not only easy to use while you are using it, but it is easy to recall later in the day, or the week, or even a few months later, and easy to use the techniques. I even find myself suggesting techniques to friends who share emotionally-distressing situations with me. Later, my friends report that it was some of the best advice they've gotten.

    I also have Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook), which seems to be the same general idea, but didn't seem to be as helpful for me. I just wish that therapists trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy were more widespread and easier to find. Highly recommended book for anyone who is working on dealing with overwhelming emotions....more info
  • Not just for borderline!
    I got this book for anger management at work. A lot of it doesn't speak to me as I don't think I have a lot of the issues it deals with, but it was WELL worth the money and time just for the anger management. It has really helped me keep perspective, and also be able to live with myself and remember that I'm not a horrible person when I slip up which usually just gets me more upset.

    I imagine that the sections on anxiety, passivity, impulsivity, and abandonment issues would be helpful as isolated bits as well for anyone dealing with those problems. You don't need to have a formal diagnosis or be in a serious therapy program with homework and workbooks if you are self-motivated. This book is very helpful to lots of "overwhelming emotion" issues. You don't need to be having serious problems in multiple spheres of life to get something out of it. It's simple, straightforward, not that hard to do, and not tied to a lot of ridiculous speculative theory like so much psychology.

    It isn't some profound book on Zen or psychology or human nature. No deep explanations, no bull, just practical cognitive and behavioral techniques that can be self-taught with very little work, that are very effective....more info
  • I Consider This Book A God-Send!!
    I have been extremely impressed with this wonderful workbook! Unfortunately, in the area I live, DBT is not offered. I have been using this workbook as my therapy and it has helped me make tremendous progress. In fact, I totally give this book credit for putting me on the road to recovery from BPD. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is looking to overcome their BPD or looking to be able to cope with overwhelming emotions. ...more info
  • Hands On How To Do DBT Skills
    The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook takes you step by step through the journey of dealing with the struggles of overwhelming feelings. The exercises in this book are challenging and meaningful. This workbook is exceptionally useful....more info
  • Good overview and tools
    Great workbook, simple, easy to use. I bought it for my clients and I think it will be useful....more info
  • Easy-to-Use Workbook for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
    I found this book helpful to use with clients who are in group or individual therapy....more info
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Workbook
    I thought the book was very well presented and had good content that was practical and useful. I am a practicing therapy and have used the methods, suggestions and models with my client with positive results.
    I have recommended it to my clients....more info


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