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DBT Mindfulness "What" Skills Worksheets

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The “What” Skills in DBT are comprised of three components that teach clients “what” they do when they are mindful — observe, describe, and participate. Observing and describing are most useful when learning new behaviors or adapting to changes, and participating with awareness helps you live in the moment. Practicing the “what” skills reduces reactivity and impulsive behaviors, leading to an improved quality of life.

The DBT Mindfulness "What" Skills Worksheets include three worksheet activities in which clients can reflect on their situation where observing, describing, and participating skills are needed. Clients are invited to brainstorm specific ways to apply these skills in their lives and answer questions such as whether or not they helped them to become more mindful.

These worksheets benefit kids and teens by increasing their mindfulness, as well as their self and social awareness as they apply these skills. For example, they can listen to music attentively, note how it makes them feel in the moment, and then move in sync with the rhythm.

These worksheets can be used with the DBT “What” Skills handout to increase understanding of each skill and easily recall them. The worksheets can also be paired with our corresponding observe, describe, and participate handouts to increase engagement in the 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. Forjan, D. N., Tuckey, M. R., & Li, Y. (2020). Problem solving and affect as mechanisms linking daily mindfulness to task performance and job satisfaction. Stress and Health, 36(3), 338–349. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2931
  2. Gallo, G. G., Curado, D. F., Opaleye, E. S., Donate, A. P. G., Scattone, V. V., & Noto, A. R. (2020). Impulsivity and Mindfulness among Inpatients with Alcohol Use Disorder. Substance Use & Misuse, 56(1), 25–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2020.1833924
  3. Park, C., Harris, V. W., & Fogarty, K. (2023b). Mindfulness, awareness, partner caring, and romantic relationship quality: Structural equation modeling. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12685
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  • File: Fillable PDF - 3 Pages
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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