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The DEAR MAN DBT skill is an interpersonal effectiveness skill that stands for Describing, Expressing, Asserting, Reinforcing, staying Mindful, Appearing confident, and Negotiating, which are effective for reaching relationship objectives skillfully. Practicing DEAR MAN does not automatically give you what you want, but it does increase your chances of getting others to agree to your boundaries or requests while maintaining healthy relationships.

The DBT DEAR MAN Handout includes a brief description of the DEAR MAN skills in which clients learn that they need to be assertive in getting their needs and wants met while maintaining balance and protecting the relationship. Each acronym presents statements on how to work on this skill, like describing the situation without judgment by sticking to the facts or using ‘I’ statements to express their feelings about the situation.

Using this handout helps kids and teens to practice effective and assertive communication, which increases positive outcomes and improves their social skills. We suggest that they create a script of what they want to get out of a situation and use that to help them feel more comfortable asking for it when the next situation arises.

This handout pairs well with our DEAR MAN worksheets to help clients reflect on their interpersonal skills.

*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. Hamilton, E. L. (2011). Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Building Bridges in Public and Global Mental Health. Chapel Hill. https://cdr.lib.unc.edu/concern/masters_papers/sq87bw46r
  2. Federici, A., Wisniewski, L., & Ben-Porath, D. (2012). Description of an intensive dialectical behavior therapy program for multidiagnostic clients with eating disorders. Journal of Counseling & Development, 90(3), 330-338.
  3. Zimmer, A. (n.d.). Dual Theory Approach to Working with BPD. RED: A Repository of Digital Collections. https://red.mnstate.edu/thesis/159
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