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DBT Series 9 - STOP

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The next crisis survival Distress Tolerance skill we are going to visit is called STOP.

STOP is an acronym that stands for:

  • Stop
  • Take a Step Back
  • Observe the Situation
  • Proceed Mindfully

S - Stop means to literally tell yourself, “Stop!” and you stop what you are doing, both physically and mentally. By telling yourself to stop, this may help you not act on any urges immediately.

T - Take a Step Back allows for you to take a break and get some physical space from the problem, the urge, whatever it is that’s contributing to heightened emotions. Taking a step back may include counting to yourself to help regulate, taking deep breaths, or going to another physical space.

O - Observe the Situation refers to identifying the facts of the situation. This may also include identifying and reframing judgments if needed.

P - Proceed Mindfully refers to moving forward through the situation by making an effective decision. This may also include remembering your values, your goals, and desired outcomes to help you move forward effectively.

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?