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DBT Series 10 - Self-Soothe

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The next Distress Tolerance skill we are going to explore is called Self-Soothe and it is one of my favorite skills.

Self-Soothe refers to tapping into your senses and movement to bring calm within the body. Self-Soothe is important because it helps to teach you that you can and deserve to feel soothed when in a crisis, to develop the self-autonomy to engage in soothing activities, and to not rely 100% on others to soothe you.

Let’s break this down.

Senses you can tap into include:

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch
  • Movement

Sight refers to looking at calming images or pictures. This can also refer to watching a comfort movie or TV show.

Sound refers to listening to comforting sounds, music, instruments, or even the ambient noise around you.

Smell can include your favorite candle, going on a walk and smelling the trees and flowers, or favorite beverage.

Taste can be a fun sense to tap into with a yummy snack or having that once-in-a-while-special-treat you enjoy.

Touch may include safe physical sensations including taking a warm bath or shower, wearing a comfortable sweater, or petting a house pet.

Movement is a great way to bring comfort to the body. Try going for a walk, having a dance party, or doing some yoga.

A fun way that you can develop this skill is by creating a Self-Soothe Box. You can place items or lists of items into the box so when you need something, it is readily available to you.

Want to hear more about the DBT Self-Soothe skill? Check out this free video from DBT-RU to hear more! (1)


(1) [@DBTRU]. (2020, December 8). Self Soothe  [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?