Mindfulness is one of the core concepts behind all elements of DBT. It is considered a foundation for the other skills taught in DBT, because it helps individuals accept and tolerate the powerful emotions they may feel when challenging their habits or exposing themselves to upsetting situations. The concept of mindfulness and the meditative exercises used to teach it are derived from traditional Buddhist practice, though the version taught in DBT does not involve any religious or metaphysical concepts. Within DBT it is the capacity to pay attention, non-judgmentally, to the present moment; about living in the moment, experiencing one's emotions and senses fully, yet with perspective.
Skills within the Mindfulness module
The "What" Skills
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 "How" Skills
- This is the action of describing the facts, and not thinking about what’s “good” or “bad”, “fair”, or “unfair.” These are judgments because this is how you feel about the situation but isn’t a factual description. Being non-judgmental helps to get your point across in an effective manner without adding a judgment that someone else might disagree with.
- This is used to focus on one thing. One-mindfully is helpful in keeping your mind from straying into emotion mind by a lack of focus.
- This is simply doing what works. It is a very broad-ranged skill and can be applied to any other skill to aid in being successful with said skill