The Ultimate Guide to DBT Self-Help Books

Jan 17
7 min read

Are you struggling to cope with your mental health, parenting, relationship issues, or simply the challenges of everyday life? Let's face it: life can be challenging, and it's not always easy to find the support you need. That's why we've curated the ultimate guide to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) self-help books for individuals, couples, parents and children alike. Whether you're looking to enhance your communication and connection with your partner, learn effective strategies for parenting with compassion and mindfulness, or simply want to develop greater self-awareness and resilience, our list has got you covered.

In this comprehensive list, we've compiled the most valuable resources to help you thrive and access the wisdom and insights you need to take control of your emotional health and navigate life's ups and downs with greater ease. Not only will you discover a range of helpful resources, but you'll also gain insight into the benefits of practicing DBT techniques, including improved relationships, better self-awareness, and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
So, sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the power of DBT self-help books.

DBT Self-Help Books for Individuals

Whether you're looking to improve your coping skills, manage intense emotions, or build healthy relationships, these DBT self-help books can help.

1. DBT® Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition by Marsha M. Linehan

DBT® Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition

Page length: 422 pages

Overview: This book provides handouts and worksheets that can be used in individual or group therapy sessions, helping individuals learn and practice DBT skills in a structured way. The second edition includes updated and expanded content, making it an even more comprehensive resource for individuals seeking to improve their emotional health.

2. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook

Page length: 296 pages

Overview: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook offers practical guidance and exercises for individuals to manage difficult emotions, improve relationships, and increase mindfulness. The book provides clear explanations of DBT concepts and techniques, as well as real-life examples and step-by-step exercises to help readers apply these skills in their daily lives.

3. Building a Life Worth Living by Marsha M. Linehan

Building a Life Worth Living

Page length: 336 pages

Overview: Building a Life Worth Living is a comprehensive guide to DBT that focuses on helping individuals build a fulfilling life by improving relationships, increasing mindfulness, and managing emotions more effectively. The book includes personal stories, practical advice, and exercises to help readers apply DBT principles to their own lives.

4. Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life by Lane Pederson

Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life

Page length: 232 pages

Overview: Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life provides a set of DBT-based tools and techniques for individuals to use in their daily lives, helping them manage difficult emotions and increase self-awareness. The book includes practical exercises and worksheets to help readers apply these techniques in their own lives.

5. The Game of Real Life: Be Mindful. Solve Conflicts. Gain Points. Live Better.

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Overview: A fun and accessible way to learn how to cope effectively, The Game of Real Life is based on the principles of DBT, which incorporates mindfulness with therapeutic life skills to combat anxiety, promote active listening, and prevent burnout. But you don’t have to go to therapy to play. 

DBT Self-Help Books for Couples

Relationships can be challenging, especially when one or both partners struggle with mental health issues. These DBT self-help books offer practical tools and strategies for building a stronger, healthier relationship.

The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy, and Validation

1. The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy, and Validation by Alan E. Fruzzetti and Marsha M. Linehan

Page length: 344 pages

Overview: This book offers practical guidance and strategies for couples dealing with high-conflict situations, drawing on the principles of DBT. It provides helpful insights on how to build and maintain a healthy relationship, including techniques for managing intense emotions, improving communication, and finding common ground.

The Mindful Couple

2. The Mindful Couple: How Acceptance and Mindfulness Can Lead You to the Love You Want by Robyn D. Walser and Darrah Westrup

Page length: 216 pages

Overview: This book combines mindfulness and DBT techniques to help couples build stronger, more compassionate relationships. It provides practical tools and exercises for cultivating mindfulness, deepening emotional connections, and resolving conflicts in a peaceful and respectful way.

The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD

3. The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD by Melissa Orlov and Nancie Kohlenberger

Page length: 296 pages

Overview: While not strictly a DBT book, this guide offers valuable insights and strategies for couples dealing with ADHD, drawing on elements of DBT and other therapeutic approaches. It provides practical tools for managing symptoms, improving communication, and building a stronger, more supportive relationship.

The Relationship Skills Workbook

4. The Relationship Skills Workbook: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to a Thriving Relationship by Julia B. Colwell

Page length: 256 pages

Overview: This workbook offers exercises and tools to help couples develop essential relationship skills, including communication, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution, drawing on DBT principles. It provides practical guidance on how to build a strong and lasting relationship, as well as exercises for overcoming common challenges.

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DBT Self-Help Books for Parents, Family and Friends

Parenting is tough, and it can be even tougher when your child is struggling with mental health issues. These DBT self-help books offer guidance and support for parents of children with a range of mental health issues.

1. Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Help Your Child Regulate Emotional Outbursts and Aggressive Behaviors by Pat Harvey and Jeanine Penzo

Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions

Page length: 208 pages

Overview: This book provides practical advice and techniques for parents who want to support their children in managing their emotions and behavior. Drawing on DBT principles, it offers guidance on helping children regulate their emotions and reduce aggressive behaviors. The book also includes real-life examples and step-by-step exercises to help parents apply these skills in their daily lives.

2. Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder by Shari Y. Manning and Marsha M. Linehan

Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Page length: 253 pages

Overview: This book provides practical advice on how to communicate effectively, set boundaries, manage crises, and support your loved one's emotional wellness. It draws on DBT principles to help family members or partners of individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) build better relationships and improve communication. The book also includes real-life examples and exercises to help readers apply these skills in their own relationships.

3. Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger

Stop Walking on Eggshells

Page length: 288 pages

Overview: This book provides a guide to understanding BPD, managing difficult behavior, and improving communication for family members or partners of individuals with BPD. It draws on DBT principles to help readers develop practical skills for managing emotions, setting boundaries, and improving communication. The book also includes real-life examples and exercises to help readers apply these skills in their own relationships.

4. Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change by Valerie Porr

Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change

Page length: 406 pages

Overview: This book provides information and practical advice for family members who want to support a loved one with BPD, including guidance on managing emotions, building better relationships, and accessing treatment. It draws on DBT principles to help readers understand BPD and develop practical skills for improving communication and managing difficult emotions. The book also includes real-life examples and exercises to help readers apply these skills in their own relationships.

5. The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide by Jennifer L. Taitz

The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide

Page length: 272 pages

Overview: This book is designed to help family members or partners of individuals with BPD manage their own emotions and stress while supporting their loved one. It includes DBT-based techniques for improving communication and managing difficult emotions. The book also offers guidance on setting boundaries, reducing emotional reactivity, and building a stronger relationship with a loved one who has BPD.

DBT Self-Help Books for Children

Mental health issues can affect children too, and it's important to provide them with the tools and support they need. These DBT self-help books are specifically designed for children and can help them develop coping skills, manage their emotions, and build healthy relationships.

1. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Children by Sheri Van Dijk

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook

Page length: 144 pages

Overview: This DBT workbook is specifically designed for children aged 7 to 12, and provides practical exercises to help them learn mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance skills. It offers tools to manage emotions and build healthy relationships.

2. Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for Helping You Manage Mood Swings, Control Angry Outbursts, and Get Along with Others by Sheri Van Dijk

Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens

Page Length: 152 pages

Overview: This DBT workbook is written specifically for teens, and provides practical exercises to help them learn dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills to manage their emotions and improve their relationships. The workbook focuses on four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

3. Mindful Games Activity Cards by Susan Kaiser Greenland

Mindful Games Activity Cards

Page length: 112 cards

Overview: This card deck provides 55 fun and engaging mindfulness activities for children and teens, helping them learn to regulate their emotions and build resilience. Each card contains a different activity to practice mindfulness and build coping skills.

Whether you are struggling with difficult emotions, supporting a loved one with BPD, or looking to improve your communication with your partner or child, there is a DBT self-help book on this list for you. These books provide practical exercises and techniques for improving communication, increasing mindfulness, and building better relationships. So, pick a book that resonates with you and start your journey towards emotional wellness today.And, if you're looking for something more interactive and personalized, TheraHive offers DBT skills training. Our coaches are trained in DBT and can provide you with the guidance and support you need to apply these skills to your life. Whether you choose to start with a self-help book or join our coaching program, remember that improving your mental health is a journey, and it's okay to ask for help along the way. We hope this ultimate guide has helped you find the right resources for you.

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