A DBT diary card is a simple and effective tool you can use to track your skill use each week. If you’re already participating in DBT therapy, you may already be familiar with a DBT diary card. However, if you’re just getting started, we’ll take you through what a DBT diary card is and some tips on completing it.
What Is A DBT Diary Card?
A DBT diary card is something your therapist may have given you to complete between sessions. It’s main purpose is to help you track your DBT skill use, urges to use drugs and alcohol, and your urges to quit therapy. On some DBT diary cards, you’ll also find space to track the strength of your emotions, urges to self harm, and urges to commit suicide.
You and your therapist will use your completed card each week to discuss your skill use and experiences. The diary card highlights the skills you are using effectively. While also showing areas that could be improved. Most importantly, it can indicate the progress you’re making in DBT and the effective changes you’re making in life.
Traditionally, DBT will have a weekly group session alongside your 1-1 therapy. You can also bring your DBT diary card along to group to remind you of the skills you’ve been using. This is particularly helpful if you’re asked to share something about your week, or the skills you’ve been using.
Tips For Completing Your Diary Card
- Go easy on yourself. In the beginning, it might feel like you’re not using many skills. “Every expert was once a beginner”, don’t let this discourage you from continuing with DBT.
- Set aside time to add to your diary card each day. It’s easier to record your skills and emotions when they’re fresh in your mind.
- If you’re unable to set aside time each day, that’s okay. Fill it out to the best of your ability. If needed, you can fill it out with your therapist in session. They will help guide and highlight skills that you might not have been aware of using.
- Complete the card honestly. There’s no judgement between you and your therapist. If you’re having a hard week, let your diary card show this. A honestly completed diary card will allow your therapist to help you in the areas it’s needed most.
- Refer to any skills worksheets and handouts from group if you need reminding of how to use a skill. If your therapist offers phone support like our team, do not hesitate to reach out.
Free Diary Card Download
There are lots of different styles when it comes to diary cards. However, you may like to try the free DBT diary card we have available for download. It focuses on your weekly skill use, urges to use, and urges to quit therapy. To download your free diary card, simply click the button below.
Interested In Learning More About DBT?
We currently offer in person DBT sessions at our clinic in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. We also offer DBT globally through an online version of our DBT course. If you’d like to learn more about DBT and what we offer, we welcome you to sign up for a FREE 20 minute DBT consultation with a member of our team. It’s a confidential and no obligation opportunity where you can discuss your needs and discover if DBT could benefit you.