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Life Skills For Emotional Health

This website is a service for people who are seeking information about DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).

This site was written primarily by PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH DBT, not DBT professionals. For this reason, consider the source of any given document. We cannot give advice, but we can talk about our experiences on our DBT journey. In this regard, I hope we can help one another.


Click here to learn how to get your FIRST TWO MONTHS FREE on THIS Good Therapy Database while supporting this website at the same time!

If you are looking for a DBT provider in your area, you can also click here, to view resources set up before the above database.

If you are in a crisis, please dial 911. The website owner is legally unable to advise.

Using DBT Skills to Make the World a Better Place
Do you have children or grandchildren? I recently invented a game to play with my 14-year-old grandson. When he or I stops to use a DBT skill to communicate when we are frustrated with the other person, we take a quarter from the jar. When we don’t, we pay a quarter to the jar. Same goes for giving compliments or insults, self-degredation or “I can” statements. The possibility for riches is endless.

photography © Cecilia Mills
Artwork by Eric Dietz, age 6

Site visitors,
Thank you for supporting this website for the past 11 years. Because of your input, exchange of information and donations, you are making a difference in the lives of many people.
- Lisa

Everyday DBT is a mix of the most requested information as well as my thoughts on ways to keep DBT alive in our day-to-day work.

Well Said!
Articles about DBT, Mental Health, BPD and related materials. This section represents some of my favorite internet authors whose writing is both helpful and conversational.

DBT Video Text is an unofficial text from videos by Marsha Linehan describing DBT skills. You can purchase the videos at this link to Behavioral Tech LLC.

The BPD Tool
A fun visual method for learning the DBT skills. The group also includes training and coaching. In this section, you’ll find a few examples from their website. Additionally, they have just published a fun and useful DBT Quick Reference Card that is free to download!

Diary Cards
Find a variety of Diary card formats that you can download and adapt to your needs as well as an explanation about the purpose of the cards and practical ways to use them.

DBT Skills (defined)
This is a brief overview of the skills. In-depth explanations will return soon.

Heads Up to Advertisers:
I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m working to create my first fair business tracking model for this website.  It was always my wish that that the site could be supported by donations alone. I am adapting to circumstances as we all must do. I appreciate your patience.

Questions and Answers
Email conversations about the many aspects of trying to use DBT skills in daily life. Some of the topics are: being effective, feeling good, invalidating environments and judgmental people.

Together we are making a difference for one another!

photography © Cecilia Mills

I recommend the following books for anyone who has BPD, their families and professionals.
Author and fellow BPD recoverer, Kiera Van Gelder has written an amazing insightful memoir called
The Buddha and the Borderline. For more information on Kiera and the book, click here.

The Facts: Borderline Personality Disorder by Roy Krawitz and Wendy Jackson was written by both a client and professional. The writing is very clear and accessible.

Click here if you need printing instructions

For a Site Map, click here.

This website was last updated on 5/4/18.

photography © Cecilia Mills

5/4/18 Update
Thank you everyone who volunteered to help work on the website. I really appreciated your interest and generosity.

I’m working on a new update with the second lesson on suffering and an update on the social media status.

Until then, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday!
I hope your days are filled with fun and good cheer and the joy that you remember from your childhood years.

For many people with BPD and other diagnosis, the holidays are a very difficult time to get through. I am no professional and so I cannot give you advice. However, I can tell you what has worked the best for me when I have struggled the most on the holidays:

1. Avoid TV commercials. During the holidays, I try to stick to public TV and Netflix. I know that, for myself, the sense of unadulterated commercialism during this time is distressing. The best way to tune it out is to tune it out.

2. Disengage. While this is not helpful for long term coping, if I find myself involved with people or situations that are very upsetting, I try to excuse myself. If I am a direct participant, I can at least use the restroom. I take this time to emotionally disengage. I pretend that I am an angel or even myself in the future looking back. I see the whole thing from above as if it doesn’t involve me. Ideally, I can come to a point where the whole thing strikes me as ridiculous.

3. Changing Directions. When I’m feeling like I’m oversharing or I’m uncomfortable about not knowing what to say, I go into my “validating reporter” mode. I begin to ask people to talk about themselves and ask leading questions and then validate everything they say as if it were one of the most interesting thing I’ve heard in years. People love people who listen to them.

To read Part 1 of “Suffering” Click here.
Part 2 coming soon.

I wrote the story of what happened when my son drowned in Hawaii. I haven’t published it on this site before because I thought a publisher was going to purchase it. But that has passed and so I’ve posted the story on the “Well Said” pages if you want to know or you can Click Here.

I so appreciate the love and support and condolences sent to me by many of you over the passing of my son. Your thoughts and prayers have made a big difference in my life.

If you would like to contribute or link to this site, please click here for more information.

Instant Mindfulness Movies
These very popular custom flash movies are aimed at helping people become more aware of the moment, calming the soul, changing mind states, or outlining the basics of a DBT skill, the following topics are currently available:
Be Mindful of Breath
Be Mindful of Feet
Be Mindful of Hands
River Rock Mindfulness
Be a Tree (the most popular!)
Radical Acceptance
Wave of Emotions
Turning the Mind
Visual Encouragement
Be a Flower

Connecting Skills
This section is a list of ALL THE DBT SKILLS with links to every document on this website where there is more information about the skill!  It is very useful for navigating this website and improving your understanding of the skills.

BTW: NOAH Says HI! (-:

Elf Help
Abbey Press gave permission to reprint parts of the their Elf Help books. Their size and simplicity is deceiving. They have a lot to say despite their few words and pictures. A real joy to have on hand.

DBT in Spanish will soon be available on this site from the DBT course files of Rayencura Clinica in Santiago, Chile. While you’re waiting for the update, you can download them by clicking this link right here.

Author Articles
The author of this website shares some personal experiences about using DBT as well as essays about dealing with suffering.

The fiber artwork featured in the banner was created by the site owner, Lisa Dietz. Click here to view a few more of her relevant artwork representing her struggle to overcome BPD.

DBT Lessons were created by myself and other DBT participants based on our experiences of practicing the DBT skills.

Flash Cards
There are several types of flash cards to help remind you of the DBT skills. Recently added are the cards I used as a participant with a way to print your own.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is the brain child of Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. More of her work and information about about her ongoing presence in the DBT Community can be found at The owner of this website as well as countless others owe her a debt of gratitude for her committment to people struggling with BPD.

The day-to-day stuff that works with DBT including affirmations, crisis strategies, cognitive distortions and more.

Formal DBT Instruction
Please don’t be confused by the title, DBT Self Help. This site is not meant to replace formal DBT therapy. It is simply a place to find some helpful day-to-day DBT stuff. The materials here are suitable for refreshing or supplementing your DBT training.

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Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
-- William Shakespeare, Alls Well That Ends Well

Dennis Merritt Jones has been a been mentor to me since the publication of his first book, , “The Art of Being.” He expresses himself the way I would like to express myself. He takes many perspectives out there and he brings them all together and outlines them, showing how they all, ultimately, say the same thing. And he does it in a very conversational, matter-of-fact way. He is a Well Said! author on this site and I recommend his newsletter.

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Click here to see the awards this website has won.

“I "stumbled" upon your website tonight.  I was in crisis mode, felt out of control, felt like I was going to have a relapse. . .my crisis was "over". . .with the help of your amazing website.
I have been in DBT for 12 weeks and have found it really confronting and overwhelming. This site has explained the skills in a much simpler way and helped me to understand them
I came upon your site today when I needed it most. It is such a wonderful place, filled with information, hope, and practical approaches to calming the mind.
I called a suicide crisis center last night and the counselor I spoke to told me about DBT... [I] came across your website... it's extremely helpful.

front page photography © Cecilia Mills

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© 2003 - 2016 by Lisa Dietz. Please read the Copyright Page to learn how you may or may not use these materials.