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DBT Half Smile And Willing Hands (PDF)

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Half Smile and Willing Hands are distress tolerance skills that promote a mind-body connection when a person experiences distressing emotions or encounters a challenging situation. Half Smile involves lifting the corners of the mouth into a soft smile and Willing Hands involves opening the hands to express willingness.

The DBT Half Smile and Willing Hands PDF handout defines the skill and explains its purpose. It also includes a list of steps to implement the “half smile” and “willing hands,” and reminds the client to practice the skill during both calm, and difficult moments. If there is mental resistance, individuals can take three slow, deep belly breaths and slowly tense and relax their muscles.

This handout helps kids and teens increase their ability to stay grounded during distressing situations. They can practice the skill as they wake up in the morning or whenever they start to feel irritated. Caring adults can demonstrate the technique so that young people will know how to perform it effectively.

This handout is a nice visual supplement to our DBT Half Smile worksheet, and DBT Willing Hands 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. Lp, J. E. P. (2015b). Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training with Adolescents: A Practical Workbook for Therapists, Teens & Parents. PESI Publishing & Media.
  2. Linehan, M. M. (2014). DBT skills training handouts and worksheets. Guilford Publications.
  • Instant digital download
  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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