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DBT Accumulate Positive Emotions Handout

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Emotional regulation is one of the four major skills of DBT that help kids and teens learn how to manage their emotions by understanding and accepting them. An important strategy for emotional regulation is accumulating positive emotions or “accumulating positives,” which involves activities that align with a person’s goals and values. This strategy is the “A” in the ABC emotion regulation skill.

The DBT Accumulate Positive Emotions Handout starts by explaining the purpose of this skill and what a short-term and long-term goal entails. It also provides a list of pleasant activities that fall under each goal. The handout encourages clients to choose at least one activity and reminds them to take action.

Engaging with this handout offers kids and teens the opportunity to release their worries and self-doubts, and enjoy the present moment. To increase their self-awareness, you can ask them to reflect on their thoughts and feelings after reading the handout.

To help convey this concept, it is helpful to pair it with our Accumulate Positive Emotions Short-Term Worksheet and/or our Accumulate Positive Emotions Long-Term Worksheet.

*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. Bliesner, A. E. (2010). Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance: A Review of the Literature. Pacific University. http://commons.pacificu.edu/spp/152/
  2. Mendlowitz, S. (2014). Changing Maladaptive Behaviors, Part 2. Wiley Online Library, 208–224. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118500576.ch15
  3. Walker, W. R., Skowronski, J. J., & Thompson, C. P. (2003). Life is Pleasant—and Memory Helps to Keep it that Way! Review of General Psychology, 7(2), 203–210. https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.7.2.203
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  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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