DBT Self Help - Letting Go

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy‘s Interpersonal Effectiveness skills are designed to help you get what you need from your relationships while being respectful of yourself and others. Interpersonal relationships can be very challenging when you are also dealing with unstable emotions. 

Not all relationships go on forever. Some end on their own but others we have to end ourselves. It can be terrifying to end a relationship and can even be triggering to things in our own past too. It’s a brave step to end a relationship that is no longer serving you, toxic or not. Congratulate yourself on prioritizing your own mental health, values, and goals. 

There are two kinds of relationships you may want to end. A destructive relationship is damaging your quality of life, including your happiness, self-esteem, body, and safety. An interfering relationship is blocking you from pursuing goals that are important to you or your ability to do things you want to do. An interfering relationship may also be interfering with your other relationships.


  • Try Problem Solving to repair a relationship if you believe it can be repaired and it is important to you to do so.
  • Use Cope Ahead to practice ending the relationship before you actually do so. 
  • Be as direct as possible. Use all the interpersonal acronym skills (DEAR MAN, GIVE, FAST) during the conversation.
  • Practice Opposite Action for love if you find yourself having trouble letting go.

SAFETY FIRST! Before leaving an abusive or life-threatening relationship, contact your local domestic violence hotline or shelter or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (call 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788) for help with safety planning. See also the International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies at www.hotpeachpages.net. Note: this website is directed toward women, however all people can experience domestic violence.