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The ABC PLEASE skills are emotion regulation skills in DBT that reduce vulnerability to unwanted emotions, and increase self-care for the mind by taking care of the body. The acronym ABC means Accumulating positive emotions, Building mastery, and Coping ahead, whereas the acronym PLEASE stands for treat Physical iLlness, balanced Eating, avoid mood-Altering substances, balanced Sleep, and get Exercise.

The ABC PLEASE DBT Handout offers general information about this skill and provides more details under each letter of ABC PLEASE. Clients will learn that accumulating positive emotions involves setting short-term and long-term goals, building mastery means doing things that lead to an increased sense of competence and coping ahead is about mentally rehearsing coping skills for emotional situations.

Kids and teens can use this handout as a helpful reminder to take care of their emotional and physical needs, which has many benefits including improved self-esteem and better stress management. Our ABC DBT Skills Worksheet can add an element of practical application when paired with this handout. For those wanting additional engagement in the PLEASE skills, our DBT PLEASE Handout and DBT PLEASE Worksheet are helpful add-ons.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of DBT worksheets and handouts.


  1. Linehan, M. M., & Wilks, C. R. (2015). The course and Evolution of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 69(2), 97–110. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.psychotherapy.2015.69.2.97
  2. Lozier, C. (2018b). DBT Therapeutic Activity Ideas for Working with Teens: Skills and Exercises for Working with Clients with Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and Other Emotional Sensitivities. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  3. Turner, S. C. (2022). Development of the Coping Ahead Intervention for Latina First-Generation College Students.
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