Navigating Difficult Emotions and Interpersonal Situations with the DBT Mindfulness Skill of Effectively

Two individuals communicating with each other

Effective communication is an essential aspect of everyday life, and it becomes even more critical in stressful situations. Stressful situations can be overwhelming, and individuals may feel like they are losing control. In such situations, it is essential to practice DBT’s mindfulness skill of effective communication. This skill involves using mindfulness to manage difficult emotions and situations, such as by using deep breathing exercises to calm oneself down during a stressful situation.

One way to practice effectively is by identifying one’s goals and considering different strategies for achieving them. It is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option before taking any step. When making decisions, individuals should also consider the potential impact of their actions on themselves and others. This mindful approach helps to avoid impulsive decisions and takes into account the broader perspective.

In addition to practicing effectively in relation to specific goals or tasks, individuals can also practice effectively in their interactions with others. Effective communication is a critical aspect of interacting with others. Being assertive and setting boundaries when needed while taking into account the needs and feelings of others is an example of effective communication. Assertiveness is not about being rude or aggressive; it is about expressing oneself in a clear and confident manner while also taking into account the needs and feelings of others.

Moreover, to practice effectively, it is crucial to remain open to feedback and willing to adjust one’s approach when needed. Being flexible in one’s approach to situations helps to overcome challenges and achieve goals more effectively. By remaining open to feedback, individuals can identify areas for improvement and adjust their approach accordingly. This approach is more effective than getting stuck in one way of doing things and not being open to constructive feedback.

Another way to practice effectively is by avoiding self-sabotage. Individuals often engage in self-destructive behaviour, such as negative self-talk or engaging in unhealthy habits. Self-sabotaging behaviour can hinder progress and make it challenging to achieve goals. To overcome this, individuals should be mindful of their actions and recognize when they are engaging in self-destructive behaviour. Mindfulness helps individuals to identify and recognize self-destructive behaviour and replace it with positive and productive behaviour.

In conclusion, practicing the DBT mindfulness skill of effectively can help individuals develop greater problem-solving skills and become more skillful in their interactions with others. By practicing effectively, individuals can become more adept at achieving their goals while also taking into account the needs and feelings of themselves and others. The practice of effective communication, being open to feedback, avoiding self-sabotage, and being flexible in one’s approach are essential aspects of practicing effectively. By incorporating these mindfulness skills into daily life, individuals can cultivate a more mindful and productive approach to life’s challenges.


Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT skills training manual. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Disclaimer: This blog shares general information only, not professional advice or recommendations. Consult healthcare providers for personal guidance. Decisions based on content are the reader's responsibility. Thank you.

Clayre runs a group practice of three queer and trans therapists, including youth therapist Audrey Wolfe, RCC, LGBT therapist Camber Giberson, RCC, CCC, and gender-affirming therapist Clayre Sessoms, RP, RCT, RCC, CCC, ATR-P. Work with us: book a session.

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