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DBT Series 5 - Wise Mind

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We’ve made it to our last DBT Mindfulness skill! But first, one final recap: The goal of Mindfulness in DBT “is to reduce suffering and increase happiness … and to experience reality as it is” (1).

For our final DBT Mindfulness skill, I introduce to you… Wise Mind. Wise Mind is considered a “within yourself” skill and is sometimes described as the “aha” moment we experience in different situations. Wise Mind is also the balance between your Emotional Mind and your Reasonable Mind.

Let’s break these states of mind down.

Emotional Mind

Emotional Mind is “thinking hot” and emotions rule behaviors, responses, and urges. No facts or logic whatsoever. Sometimes when Emotional Mind is sitting in the driver’s seat, we might say or do things out of the intense emotions we are experiencing in the moment.

Reasonable Mind

Reasonable Mind is “thinking cool.” Behaviors, responses, and urges are ruled by facts, logic, and reason. No emotion whatsoever. Although being largely in Reasonable Mind may sound more appealing, it unfortunately doesn’t allow us to experience empathy for ourselves or for others.

Wise Mind

Wise Mind allows us to acknowledge the emotions we are experiencing while simultaneously attuning to the sensations and facts. Wise Mind helps you step into a space of walking the middle path and seeing the “and” of a situation.

How to Practice Getting into Wise Mind

  • Linking Wise Mind to breath - notice your body and how it feels to breathe in your body, right here, right now. When you feel ready, on the inhales, think the word “Wise.” On the exhales, think the word “Mind.” This will help you get into that Wise Mind space.
  • Asking your Wise Mind a question - similarly above, notice your body and how it feels to breathe. When you feel ready, inhale, and, at the top of that inhale, ask your Wise Mind a question. Exhale, and, at the bottom of the exhale, listen and see what answers come up for you. This may take a few rounds of breath.

Want to hear more about DBT Wise Mind? Check out this free video from DBT-RU to hear more! (2)


(1) Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Manual (2nd ed., p. 161). The Guilford Press.

(2) [@DBTRU]. (2020, December 8). Wise Mind: An Intuitive, Centered State of Mind | DBT Skills from Experts  [Video]. YouTube.

Reminder: these blog posts are meant to be purely educational and/or entertainment tools and do NOT replace psychotherapy and/or other medically necessary treatments.

Are you ready to take the first step?