Pros and Cons Skill

The Pros and Cons skills in DBT is all about weighing a situation with the objective that accepting reality is better than rejecting it. The skill empowers individuals to assess a situation, including the behavioral response that generally comes along with it. What are the pros and cons of such behavior? Is it worth it? How will this behavior affect your present goals? After this, one needs to assess the pros and cons of acting out such behavior, including other behavioral options that come to mind. Applying such mental skills to any emotional crisis or situation helps you make a better decision with the least negative impact. It could also be a decision with a positive impact, depending on the situation.

The ideal way to apply the Pros and Cons skill is to keep a journal of the various advantages and disadvantages of options that can be applied to a situation. The trick in the application of the skill is to follow the steps mentioned:

  • Accept the crisis and be mindful of it
  • Describe it to yourself
  • Consider the pros and cons of behavioral options to manage the crisis
  • Consider the pros and cons of acting out such behavior
  • Consider the impact of positive consequences
  • Consider the impact of negative consequences
  • Recall past experiences and behaviors
  • Apply your wise mind to decide based on your assessment

While the Pros and Cons skill offers a structured approach to decision-making, its effectiveness depends on individual circumstances and the capacity to strike a balance between thoughtful analysis and decisive action.