Mindfulness can work in any area of life, enhancing our experiences and helping us to remain in the moment, but it’s particularly powerful in DBT, which relies heavily on the Eastern-based tradition. Mindfulness starts with what are referred to as the “what” skills. This process has three components:
Observe – This is used to non-judgmentally observe one’s environment within or outside oneself. It is helpful in understanding what is going on in any given situation.
Describe – This is used to express what one has observed with the observe skill. It is to be used without judgmental statements. This helps with letting others know what you have observed.
Participate – This is used to become fully involved in the activity that one is doing. To be able to fully focus on what one is doing.
The “what” skills are followed by the “how” skills, which are equally important. These include:
Non-Judgment – This is the action of describing the facts without giving any thought to labels like “good” or “bad”, “fair” or “unfair.” These judgments tie in to how you feel about the situation rather than focusing on the factual descriptions. By removing judgments and emotion from a situation, we can look at it more clearly. Being non-judgmental helps to get a point across in the most effective way without adding a judgment that might cause someone else to disagree.
One-Mindfulness – This technique is used to focus on a single thing, keeping the mind from straying into areas of emotion or losing focus. One-mindfulness can be very helpful for dealing with larger issues that need more attention or for separating a single issue from other issues that might confuse things.
Effectiveness – At its core, DBT relies on simple concepts and this skill is as basic as can be. It simply involves doing what works. It is a very broad-ranged skill and can be applied to any other skill to aid in being successful with that skill.
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