The 4D Toolkit - helping you, help yourself!

The 4D Toolkit is a fantastic new resource developed to support young people currently or previously involved in CWP CAMHS’ 4D DBT skills programme or receiving DBT treatment from CWP CAMHS.

Designed with young people for young people, the toolkit contains 20 visual prompt cards that act as ongoing reminders of the programme’s core learning outcomes. Each card links to a page in this section of the MyMind website.

The 4D Toolkit pages might also be of interest to other people receiving DBT treatment, or in fact anybody that would like a short introduction to the ideas and practices of this therapeutic approach.

For those wanting a more detailed understanding of DBT, there are many websites and materials that can be readily accessed via the Internet, which you might also wish to explore.

So what is DBT?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT for short, provides you with skills to help you deal with strong emotions.

DBT can be very helpful if you find that sometimes you experience lots of emotion very quickly and you find it hard to calm down afterwards; or it can also be really useful if you find it hard to make sense of your emotions.

Learning and practicing DBT skills, gives you much more control of your emotions; so that you can:

  • stop acting on strong emotions (negative or positive)
  • handle emotions well enough to still be able to do what you want
  • reduce any physical effects of a strong emotion
  • focus your attention even when you’re feeling a strong emotion

DBT combines two different positions to help you manage the experiences that you find difficult to cope with.  These different postions both contain their own two skill sets to help you master a dialectical approach.


within DBT helps you understand and accept yourself (including your situation, experiences, emotions and behaviours).


within DBT encourages you to change behaviours from those that may be harmful to those that will help you to move your life forward.

‘Dialectics’ means that opposites can exist alongside each other – for people involved in DBT this means that your therapist will support you in balancing ‘Acceptance’ and ‘Change’ through using the four key DBT skill sets.

Use the buttons above to find out more information about the separate skill sets or click below for access to the individual skills.

Click here to access the full list

Where did DBT come from?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT for short, was a new form of treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, back in the 1990’s. Marsha built upon the ideas of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) – which looks at how our thoughts affect our feelings and behaviours, but with DBT she was specifically looking at how people can also be affected by their environments and relationships, and how some people can experience greater difficulties (and react more intensely) in certain emotional situations (- situations which are often connected with relationships).

In developing DBT, Marsha combined parts of cognitive and behavioural treatments, along with eastern meditation and mindfulness practices. This new approach was designed with a focus upon treating people experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder. People diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder often experience intense emotions, which they might react to in ways that are not helpful to them, or sometimes in ways that can cause them harm. DBT sees the main problem for people with BPD being difficulty in controlling their emotions (- the reason for this could be: biological – they inherited genes that make them more emotionally sensitive, or: environmental – experiences in childhood which have caused them to find it hard to understand and express their emotions).  It has since been recognised that the skills taught within DBT may be of benefit to anyone struggling to manage stress and their emotions.