A graphic that reads "The Skillful Podcast Season 2 Episode 43: Distress Tolerance Overview Part 2" over a photo of the coastline of Northern California.

#43: Distress Tolerance Overview Part 2

The Distress Tolerance skills in DBT offer creative ways to get through challenging situations without making things worse. 

In Part 2 of this overview of Distress Tolerance skills, we focus on acceptance skills. Both acceptance and change skills can help lower emotional distress so you can access your most wise, grounded self. Radical Acceptance, as well as skills that support Radical Acceptance, are covered in this episode.

Show Highlights

  • Some signs that you are rejecting reality are feeling stuck, resentful, or hopeless
  • The most common obstacle to rejecting reality is conflating acceptance with approval
  • Reality acceptance is the necessary starting point that precedes effective and meaningful change
  • Everything is always changing
  • We can’t change the past but we can change our relationship to what has happened in the past
  • Radical Acceptance is an ongoing process
  • You will a have a relationship to past trauma and losses for the rest of your life
  • Radical Acceptance allows you to say “This is where I am today.”
  • Fighting against threats is built into us
  • Radical Acceptance doesn’t mean we don’t work towards change
  • The absence of emotion is not the barometer of whether this this skill is working 
  • Turning the Mind points us in the direction of Radical Acceptance 
  • Cultivating a willingness to do what’s effective
  • Notice and label when you’re being willful or fighting against reality
  • Willing Hands and Half-Smile help you physically express acceptance and openness

DBT Skills Discussed

Ask us a Question

We’d love to hear from you! Where are you getting stuck with your skills application? Ask us a question for the chance to have it answered on the podcast. Submit your question here. 

Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.