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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Blackburn

DBT In Action: Self-Soothing using the Five Senses

Updated: Nov 9, 2023



In the Distress Tolerance module of DBT, clients learn to self-soothe. We can do this by engaging the five senses, which help us become aware of the present moment. Here are some examples:


Sense of sight:

· Go for a nature walk and observe the trees, the sky, and other people.

· Look at art in a museum or online.

· Watch a beautiful and soothing movie.


Sense of hearing:

· Listen to soothing or interesting music.

· Find an audiobook or a podcast.

· Call a friend or family member.

· Try singing a familiar song.


Sense of smell:

· Bake bread or cookies.

· Have a relaxing bath or shower.

· Light a candle.


Sense of taste:

· Mindfully eat a piece of candy or chocolate.

· Make a cup of tea.

· Share a nice meal.


Sense of touch:

· Put on soft, comfortable clothes.

· Hug a loved one.

· Give a self-massage.

· Pet an animal friend.


DBT for thriving, not just surviving


Dialectical Behavior Therapy offers therapists and clients a wide range of skills and tools to help with mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. No one has to feel out of control and overwhelmed by strong emotions and urges forever. It is possible to thrive. If you’d like to know more about DBT and to talk with a therapist who can help find the right therapy plan for you, click on the link below.



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