How Skill

The “How Skill” in DBT guides individuals to implement mindfulness. DBT Mindfulness teaches us to live in the moment without being judgmental of our situation. The “How’ skill, with its three components of One Mindful, Non-Judgmental, and Effectiveness, is a roadmap to apply mindfulness in everyday life, ensuring maximum effectiveness of the therapy.

Download “HOW” Skill Worksheet


One-Mindful involves focusing all your attention on one thing at a time. It encourages individuals to be fully present in the moment rather than being distracted by multiple thoughts or tasks. While applying this skill, avoid focusing on your worries or worrying about the future; simply concentrate on your present situation. Being one-mindful means not multitasking, so do not engage in anything else while practicing it, and do so with your eyes open.


Non-judgmental awareness is observing thoughts, feelings, and experiences without labeling them good or bad. Rather than judge others or yourself, focus on the results and outcomes. One-Mindful encourages acceptance and openness, reducing self-criticism and promoting a more objective understanding of one’s experiences. It benefits you more when you describe what you have observed and then just assess the facts of the situation without prejudice or bias. In other words, DBT mindfulness is all about embracing everything as an experience without a label or trying to push anything away. It is a battle between what we think of our experience and connecting to the experience itself.


There’s a thing about trying too hard, so avoid worrying about doing what is right. The Effective skill teach you just to do what works in the moment. It would help if you chose a behavior that effectively achieves a goal at that moment instead of getting stuck in unhelpful thinking patterns or reacting. Focus on your desired result, be mindful of the situation, go through the steps of the various skills of mindfulness, and then activate your “Wise Mind” Skill to decide what best suits your situation. Being mindfully effective, empowers you to focus your attention in ways that will achieve an outcome of your desire.