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DBT Series 15 - ABC

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We are almost done visiting and learning about the DBT Emotion Regulation skills! Today, we are going to learn about the skill ABC. Similar to the PLEASE skill, ABC helps reduce our vulnerability to Emotional Mind and influence from other distressing emotions. 

ABC is an acronym that stands for:

  • Accumulating Positives
  • Building Mastery
  • Cope Ahead

Let’s break this down.

Accumulating Positives. This aspect of the skill refers to surrounding yourself with positive things or people. Accumulating Positives also refers to having things to look forward to on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Remember when the COVID19 pandemic was ramping up, things were being closed or canceled, we had to physically distance ourselves from others? I don’t know about you but it was really challenging to have things to look forward to in the beginning. Accumulating Positives encourages us to identify even the small things we can look forward to and maybe some larger events such as a vacation. These positives act as anchor points to help us persevere when things become difficult or challenging.

Building Mastery. An aspect of this skill includes doing something at least once a day that cultivates feelings of accomplishment, pride, control, and/or capability. Building Mastery may also include learning and developing a new skill or hobby.

Cope Ahead. This skill should sound familiar because we visited it a few weeks ago! As a quick recap, Cope Ahead refers to imagining yourself going through a stressful situation, utilizing coping skills, and the skills work.


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?