DBT Mindfulness What Skills: Observe, Describe, Participate

Mindfulness is the act of being fully #present to the current moment.

In DBT we focus on letting go of judgments and the need to see things as right/wrong.

Each moment is just as it should be.

  • DBT breaks mindfulness into six core components
  • Think of the What Skills as Levels of Mindfulness
  • You can only do 1 at any given time 
    (but you will pair it with all 3 How Skills)

OBSERVE
Observation is all about taking in data of what is going on around you.  This involves attending to external events + your emotions, thoughts, sensations & behavioral responses.  True observation is pre-verbal:  it requires the ability to sit and just notice what is going on in your environment without having to place labels on what you are experiencing.

DESCRIBE
Describe is the action of labeling your observations. To strengthen your describe skills practice replacing judgmental language with fact-based descriptions. Remember that opinions, interpretations & assumptions are not facts.
You must be able to observe something with your sense to accurately describe it.  For example: you cannot describe another person’s emotional state, but you can describe the mannerisms or other outward expressions that you notice.

PARTICIPATE
Participation is the full and active engagement in the moment. Similar to the concept of flow – the participant becomes one with the activity and is able to respond spontaneously and with ease to changes in the environment. From a DBT perspective, the goal of your mindfulness practice is to reach a life of complete participation

DBT Mindfulness What Skills Infographic by @awakeshegoes 
Observe Describe Participate

DBT Skills Training Handout & Worksheets. Linehan (2015) p. 53

For more DBT infographics check out JamieSchmidtlpc.com.

If you are interested in learning the DBT skills, I offer skills coaching via FaceTime, e-mail & my signature 90 Day DBT Bootcamp. Click the image below for more info!

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Published by Jamie Schmidt, LPC

Just a human being on a journey of self discovery. Psychology + Spirit + Healing

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