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DBT Skill of the Day: Radical Acceptance

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DBT – Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, is a type of skills based therapy that was developed by Marsha Linehan, and it’s focus is learning tools and skills to empower and individual to be effective in their own life.

Radical Acceptance is about identifying what you have control over and what you do NOT have control over. It does not mean that you have to like what is happening, it is just about accepting reality. Once acceptance has been reached you can then focus on how you can be effective in that situation.

I chose Radical Acceptance because right now I’m waiting to hear back about a job interview, and that is something I have no control over and have to accept – so that I can get the other things in my day accomplished.

Here is how I’m using Radical Acceptance today:

Identify the strategies I will use to let go of the things I cannot control.

  1. shift my focus to something I can control (like cleaning my room, running errands, going for a walk)
  2. acknowledge that I don’t have to control everything all the time.

Identify strategies to say in control of my thinking, feeling, impulses and behavior:

  1. Focus on a list of things I want to accomplish today (laundry, errands, reading a chapter in my book, working out)
  2. Treat myself with something fun tonight (grey’s anatomy and diet coke) so I have something to look forward to.
  3. Get outside so I can enjoy the pretty day! And get some sunlight which helps with my mood!

Barriers and obstacles to using the “Radical Acceptance” Skill effectively:

  1. If my anxiety starts to rise, I might start dwelling on things I cannot control (that I want to control)
  2. If something unexpected happens in my day, it could through a loop in my day and I could struggle to accept what was happening in the moment.

What are some strategies to overcome these barriers and obstacles?

  1. I’m going to remember to breathe. Sometimes in the face of anxiety, I forget how important deep breathing is and how every situation is temporary.
  2. I’m also going to use my supports. So if something totally unexpected happens I’ll call a friend that I know can talk it out with me and help me come up with a plan to deal with the situation. I also know that sometimes it’s okay to just postpone a situation even if I’m not that good at doing that.

Ways I will use “Radical Acceptance” on a Regular Basis:

  1. There is so much I cannot control, that I either try to, or spend time dwelling on wishing that I could. I will use radical acceptance to focus on what I can control and spend my days giving myself permission to feel productive because of those things.

I hope you found this tool helpful and you can find a way to use it in your day to help you accept what you cannot control! It definitely helps me! Check back tomorrow for another DBT skill!

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Author: erin casey

I believe Light is stronger than the Dark.

6 thoughts on “DBT Skill of the Day: Radical Acceptance

  1. Pingback: DBT Skill of the Day: Moment to Pause | Where I Stand

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  4. Pingback: DBT Skill of the Day – MEDDSS | Where I Stand

  5. Aim of our dbt Therapists for dialectical behavioral therapy is to validate client’s feelings and showing them better alternatives. it can change the way you feel and behave. dialectical behavioral therapy

  6. thank you for this. I’m currently working on DBT with my therapist and she gave me this worksheet with the exact same questions to work on. much appreciated. :)

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