In our current research, we are finding that the skills that are taught in dialectical behavior therapy may be the most critical parts of the entire treatment.
The skills that we teach are in four groups.
The first group is mindfulness skills. DBT was actually the first psychotherapy that put mindfulness into psychotherapy, we did not put meditation into it, because most of our clients really could not tolerate focusing on their breath, and doing meditation.
So what I did was for mindfulness skills, what I did was to translate Zen mindfulness practice into behavioral language. I said to myself, what were my teachers really teaching me to do? And then I packaged those and taught them to the patient.
So that's mindfulness. Those are the core skills. And every other skill depends on those skills. So they're the first ones everybody gets, that first skill is observing. So it's just learning the skill of noticing, paying attention, noticing what's in front of you, noticing what's within you noticing what's in your mind, no one's watching your body and noticing what's outside as the skill of observing, that's central to all contemplative practices.
Second one is describing where you describe what you observe. The basic idea is you can't describe what you didn't observe. Meaning you cannot describe what's in someone else's mind. My other things.
The third one is participating. This really comes straight from Zen. It's a skill of becoming one with. It's a skill of throwing yourself in. Letting go, going with the flow, so to speak. So that's what you do.
Then the question is, how do you do it? So the way you do it first in non judgmentally, non judgmentally needs neither good nor bad, is means not judging.
The second is in the moment is paying attention to just this one moment, primarily because that's all that exists. It's my favorite skill at the moment because I love thinking about the idea that nothing exists, but this one moment.
The third is effectively that comes straight out of him and effectively means doing what works and giving up having to be right all the time. So it's instead of being right being effective.