Self-Directed DBT Skills: A 3-Month DBT Workbook to Help Regulate Intense Emotions

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Regulate intense emotions, change problematic behaviors, and build fulfilling relationships with this self-directed DBT skills program.

Created by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based approach for managing difficult emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. In this practical guide and workbook, you will develop skills in four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. While traditional DBT programs take 6 to 12 months to complete and require weekly individual therapy, weekly group skills training, and regular phone coaching, Self-Directed DBT Skills distills the DBT skills into a 3-month program that anyone can access and implement on their own. Using this roadmap filled with actionable exercises, you’ll build a strong foundation for emotional well-being and create lasting change.

  • Beginner-friendly DBT fundamentals that prepare you to move through a 3-month program so you can learn DBT skills without a DBT therapist
  • 3-month timeline with progressive skill-building to add new skills to your DBT toolbox with weekly chapters that take 15 to 30 minutes to read
  • Step-by-step exercises by DBT-Linehan-board-certified psychologists who have helped hundreds of clients build meaningful lives through DBT
  • Downloadable worksheets and bonus materials like a DBT Skills Cheat Sheet to reinforce skills and help you apply them to your daily life


“DBT skills can be helpful to anyone who struggles with difficult emotions or behaviors. Drs. Fehling and Weiner expertly distill the essence of these skills in a 12-week self-guided program. Anyone wanting to learn new, healthy ways of skillfully responding to problems would benefit from using this book.”
—Shireen L. Rizvi, PhD, ABPP, professor of clinical psychology, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and director of Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic at Rutgers University; author of Chain Analysis in DBT; and co-editor of DBT in Clinical Practice“This book makes the powerful skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy accessible to anyone who struggles to manage their emotions. Designed to be used as a structured self-help program, each chapter introduces new DBT skills along with practice exercises to begin applying the skills in your life. This is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about DBT skills and how to use them to build the life you want to have.”
—Melanie Harned, PhD, associate professor at the University of Washington, psychologist and coordinator of the DBT Program at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and author of Treating Trauma in Dialectical Behavior Therapy: The DBT Prolonged Exposure Protocol (DBT PE)

Self-Directed DBT Skills is the first authoritative, practical DBT skills book for clients, covering all the skills and guided practice activities. Until now, all of the client-facing DBT books I’ve found either did not have enough practical content (because they were broad overviews), or their content was underwhelming, sometimes missing many skills topics. This book is well written, so anyone can easily understand the skills, and the content is sophisticated, closely matching what Marsha Linehan taught me when I was her student. Self-Directed DBT Skills is an invaluable resource for people who want to get more out of their DBT-informed therapy.”
—Milton Brown, PhD, clinic director and founder, DBT Center of San Diego

About the Author:

Kiki Fehling, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™. Kiki specializes in borderline personal­ity disorder, self-harming behaviors, and trauma, with particular expertise working with LGBTQ+ people. Kiki is passionate about helping people build meaningful lives through DBT. After witness­ing the power of DBT skills in her own life and the lives of her clients, she is thrilled to share those skills through this book. You can follow them on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter @dbtkiki.

Elliot Weiner, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and the co-founder of New York Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (NYCBT) in New York City. He has expertise in Dialectical Behavior Therapy as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and specializes in working with people with posttraumatic stress disorder as well as other difficulties related to trauma. Elliot is a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™ and is Board Certified in Behavioral & Cognitive Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. In his work as a clinical psychologist, Elliot is passionate about helping people learn practical strategies to decrease suffering and build more fulfilling, satisfying lives.

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