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DBT Model Of Emotions (PDF)

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The Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) model of emotions is a simple framework where individuals can better understand their emotional experiences and how to manage their emotions. It explains that emotions result from a combination of three things: biological changes, a person’s thoughts, and the actions they take.

The DBT Model of Emotions PDF handout starts by introducing the framework as a means of knowing the different factors involved in the emotional process. For example, it describes pre-existing factors that may affect emotional regulation, such as being sick or feeling hungry. It also lets us know that our facial expressions and the words we speak can affect us internally.

When kids and teens learn the different parts of an emotional experience, they can take steps toward changing a negative emotion. They can use this handout to help guide them through our DBT Model of Emotions worksheet, which is designed to help individuals understand a recent emotional reaction they experienced.

Our Skills for a Model of Emotions handout is an additional resource for those who would benefit from learning about DBT skills they can use for each step in the model of emotions process.

*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. Fassbinder, E., Schweiger, U., Martius, D., Brand-de Wilde, O., & Arntz, A. (2016). Emotion regulation in schema therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1373.
  2. Mazza, J. J., Dexter-Mazza, E. T., Miller, A. L., Rathus, J. H., & Murphy, H. E. (2016). DBT? skills in schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents Dbt Steps-a. Guilford Publications.
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  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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