Non-judgmental, One-mindful, and Effective

The Mindfulness “How” Skills

The mindfulness “how” skills in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha M. Linehan, are part of the core mindfulness module and are essential in teaching individuals how to focus their mind and attention in a skillful manner. They complement the “what” skills, which identify what to do to be mindful. The “how” skills are about how to practice these activities effectively.

These skills are:

Non-judgmentally: This skill involves observing experiences without labeling them as good or bad, right or wrong. It’s about acknowledging the facts of a situation without attaching opinions, interpretations, or evaluations. This allows individuals to see things as they truly are, not through the lens of their subjective judgments.

One-mindfully: This skill is about doing one thing at a time with full awareness. It involves concentrating on the present activity and giving it your full attention, rather than multitasking or being distracted by other thoughts or stimuli. It promotes full engagement in the present moment.

Effectively: Being effective is about focusing on what works. It involves doing what is needed to achieve one’s goals, even if it is difficult or not immediately enjoyable. This means being pragmatic and focusing on the effectiveness of an action rather than whether it’s fair, just, or consistent with one’s self-image.

These “how” skills are practiced in everyday life and during mindfulness exercises to help individuals gain greater control over their mind, increase their awareness of the present moment, and ultimately contribute to better emotional regulation and distress tolerance.

The skills are taught and practiced within a structured program, often involving group and individual therapy, where you would learn to apply them to a variety of situations to reduce suffering and increase life satisfaction. The ultimate aim is to help individuals build a life worth living, by improving their ability to manage emotional distress and interpersonal difficulties.