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Urge Surfing DBT Worksheets

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Urge surfing involves mindfully noticing and “riding out” urges as they rise and fall in intensity until they eventually subside. Urge surfing with mindfulness has helped break unhealthy habits like binge eating and other addictive behaviors. Practicing this skill does not automatically reduce urges, but it changes how we respond, leading to self-control and mastery in overcoming them.

The Urge Surfing DBT Worksheets feature three worksheet activities for clients to answer questions about the skill. Through these activities, they get a chance to reflect on their triggers, the thoughts and sensations they have, how they handled the urge, and what they can do better next time.

Using these worksheets helps kids and teens learn to accept an urge and its accompanying discomfort, which can lead to better self-control. When used in individual or group discussions, you can start by introducing the concept of urge surfing. These worksheets can be used alongside our Urge Surfing Technique handout, which provides a summary of the technique.

*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. Bowen, S., Chawla, N., Grow, J., & Marlatt, G. A. (2021). Mindfulness-Based relapse prevention for addictive behaviors: A Clinician’s Guide. Guilford Publications.
  2. Juarascio, A. S., Manasse, S. M., Schumacher, L. M., Espel, H. M., & Forman, E. M. (2017). Developing an Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder: Rationale and Challenges. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 24(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpra.2015.12.005
  3. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Karazsia, B. T., Myers, R. E., Kim, E., Chan, J., Jackman, M. M., McPherson, C. L., & Janson, M. (2019). Surfing the Urge: An informal mindfulness practice for the self-management of aggression by adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 12, 170–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2018.10.003
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