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What Is DBT? (PDF)

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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is effective in treating adults and adolescents, and now it is being adapted for younger children. DBT is also described as a transdiagnostic treatment, which means that it can be applied across various psychiatric disorders. Research shows that among the different skills taught, mindfulness and distress tolerance are highly valuable to adolescents.

The What Is DBT PDF handout offers valuable information on the nature of DBT, how it helps clients, one of its primary goals, and the skills training modules taught. It uses clear and simple language that’s accessible to younger clients as well as illustrations to hold their interest.

This handout helps kids and teens appreciate the relevance of DBT skills in their everyday lives, especially outside of therapy sessions. Parents may set aside time to practice coping skills together, such as immersing themselves in the present moment (under the mindfulness module) and radical acceptance (under the distress tolerance module).

Our DBT Skills Introduction handout is a helpful add-on for a 1-page overview of each of the core DBT modules - Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Walking The Middle Path.

*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. Pardo, E. S., Rivas, A. F., Barnier, P. O., Mirabent, M. B., Lizeaga, I. K., Cosgaya, A. D., Alcántara, A. C., González, E. V., Aguirre, B., & Torres, M. A. G. (2020). A qualitative research of adolescents with behavioral problems about their experience in a dialectical behavior therapy skills training group. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02649-2
  2. Chapman, A. L. (2006). Dialectical behavior therapy: Current indications and unique elements. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 3(9), 62–68. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963469/
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