A Guide to Progress

When your emotions are flooded and overwhelmed but you can’t solve the problem right away, Crisis Survival Skills help you get through the moment without acting on impulses that may make the situation worse.
However, we want to save our Crisis Survival Skills for actual Crisis. One thing I love about DBT is it teaches a very concrete way to know when to use what skills.

As a basic guideline:
On a scale from 1-10 (10 being the highest) when your emotions are a 6 or below and you’re able to feel them without engaging in unsafe behaviors, then letting yourself fully experience your emotions is best.

These skills for example include:

  • Talking to a friend or family member
  • Drawing or Journaling
  • Crying


If you’re feeling a level 7 or above intensity it’s time to use your distress tolerance and crisis management skills until you can more calmly manage the situation at a later time.

These skills for example include:

  • Intense Exercise
  • Distraction: Watching a funny show
  • Self-Soothing

In DBT our teens learn over 100 different coping skills with a proven formula when and how to use them.

Teen need support? Contact us today.

(860) 387-5689

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