DBT Therapeutic Activity Ideas for Working with Teens: Skills and Exercises for Working with Clients with Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and Other Emotional Sensitivities


This fun and engaging activity book helps to teach teens to manage emotions and develop relationships by tracking their progress using Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) techniques. DBT is specifically designed for emotionally sensitive young people, especially those with borderline personality disorder, and the activities in this book will help regulate strong emotional responses which can lead to impulsivity, unstable relationships, low self-image and reactive emotions.

It is a concise and easy-to-read resource, accompanied by vignettes and activity sheets. It presents an overview of the four modules of DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills used in these modules can be logged and monitored through the tick lists and diary cards provided. These practical tools and ideas are reproducible, and will be invaluable for anyone working with teens.

Suitable for Child psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and therapists, school counsellors, adoption/fostering clinicians and parents.


  • Introduction
  • PART I: What is DBT?
  • 1. What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?
  • 2. Biosocial Theory
  • 3. The “D” in DBT
  • 4. DBT Acronyms
  • 5. DBT is a Lifestyle
  • 6. Diary Cards
  • 7. Lists, Information, and Suggestions
  • PART II: Mindfulness
  • 1. What is Mindfuless?
  • 2. WHAT Skills
  • 3. HOW Skills
  • 4. Mindfulness Activities
  • 5. Grounding Techniques
  • 6. Colouring Sheets
  • 7. Three States of Mind
  • PART III: Distress Tolerance
  • 1. What is Distress Tolerance or DT?
  • 2. Self-Soothing
  • 3. Wise Mind ACCEPTS
  • 4. IMPROVE the Moment
  • 5. STOP Skill
  • 6. TIP Skills
  • 7. Pros and Con
  • 8. Willingness vs. Willfulness
  • 9. Turning the Mind
  • 10. Radical Acceptance. A. Choosing to Accept Reality. B. Reality Acceptance, Steps
  • 11. Half Smiling
  • PART IV: Emotion Regulation
  • 1. What is Emotion Regulation or ER?
  • 2. Exploring and Knowing My Emotions
  • 3. ABC Skills. A. Accumulate Positives. B. Build Mastery. C. Cope Ahead
  • 4. Riding the Wave
  • 5. Opposite Action
  • 6. PLEASE
  • 7. Lemonade
  • PART V: Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • 1. What is Interpersonal Effectiveness or IE?
  • 2. Repairs
  • 3. TAPS
  • 4. THINK
  • 5. The 4 Horsemen
  • 6. GIVE
  • 7. FAST
  • References

Author Bio:

Carol Lozier is an US clinical social worker with over 20 years’ experience, and author of books on attachment and adoption. She is based in Louisville, Kentucky.


This book is a wonderful addition to the library of any DBT skills trainer. It can be hard to understand how to implement DBT skills into practice for beginning clinicians. In this book, Lozier has distilled the principles of DBT into an easy-to-read book for clinicians with simplified worksheets for clinicians working with children and adolescents.