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DBT Series 16 - Check to Facts

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We’ve made it to our final DBT Emotion Regulation skill! Today we are going to learn about the Check the Facts skill. This skill helps us to understand that our emotions are always valid; however, the emotion may not always be justified or the intensity might not match given the facts of the situation at hand.

To practice Check the Facts, utilize the following steps:

  • Ask yourself, “What is the emotion I want to change?”
  • Ask yourself, “What event prompted this emotion?”
  • Ask yourself, “What are my interpretations, thoughts, and assumptions about the event?”
  • Ask yourself, “Am I assuming a threat?”
  • Ask yourself, “What is the catastrophe?”
  • Ask yourself, “Does my emotion and/or intensity fit the actual facts?”

The first step encourages us to identify and label the current emotion we are experiencing, that may be causing us distress, and to acknowledge that we want to change it (but not get rid of it).

The second step encourages us to identify and examine the facts of the situation. In this step we want to avoid and challenge judgments. (hint: this is a great time to practice some Mindfulness How skills)

The third step encourages us to not only identify our point of view of the situation but also other possible interpretations. This includes testing our interpretations, thoughts, and assumptions to see if they stand up to the presenting facts.

The fourth step encourages us to identify and label a possible threat or threats from the situation. If present, we can critically assess the possibility of the threatening event(s) actually happening. This may include brainstorming as many possible threats or outcomes as possible.

The fifth step encourages us to imagine the catastrophe or the worst case scenario actually happening. This step is another great opportunity to practice the Cope Ahead skill. While imaging the catastrophe, imagine yourself successfully and effectively getting through it. Imagine yourself utilizing problem solving skills, other coping skills, the Radical Acceptance skill, or any other tool effectively.

The final step has us identify the facts that match each of the emotions arising from the event at hand. During this step, we can also tap into our Wise Mind to see what answers or guidance we can receive.


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?