The Skills Foundation

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There are many skills for life. This page lists a variety of the key skills I work with people to develop in therapy. These skills are known to help key processes that can help us in life.
The section is broken down into 5 parts - representing skills from each part of the 5 Part Model -  a model I use in sessions with people all the time because it is so helpful. The 5 part model can help us to understand what is going on in our lives, how things are interacting, and therefore what might help. It is really useful. To read more about the 5 part Model please see my blog post here. For now, here is an image of it.


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From here on this page is broken down into skills and fit under each of the 5 parts. I haven't made content for all of these skills yet - but where I have there are links. 




Making change using our environment

ABCs - Contingency Management, Stimulus control, Shaping. 

Using our home life to make changes in our thinking and actions

Social skills

Lots of things - See DBT and PBT book and list here. 

Social support and Connection

Social support / connection / belonging / helping others / altruism etc



Breathing is .... Click below for a blog post about this. And listen below for an intro and a 5 minute practice. 

Arousal reduction - breathing. PMR, passive relaxation, Applied relaxation, Body scan, Breath counting, visualisation, autogenics

Energy management - Work / rest / play - Life Balance - Micro breaks (Jim Loerh etc)

Bodily connection and awareness - sensations, needs, etc

Nutrition - brief link to Thug kitchen, ideas about N and mental health

Sleep - brief link to sleep hygiene materials



Breathing is .... Click below for a blog post about this. And listen below for an intro and a 5 minute practice. 

Emotional awareness - and awareness of needs and wants

Emotional Validation (of self - and others)

Self- compassion (and compassion for others)

Values choice and clarification (and meaning)

Cultivating psychological acceptance / willingness/ Openness

Coping and emotion regulation

Emotions regulation

Distress tolerance

Crisis Management 


Mindfulness - Defusion, Flexible attention to present, Self as context / Observer, Noticing, Naming, Experiential skills. 

Awareness of thinking styles

Cognitive Defusion

Cognitive Reappraisal

Modifying core beliefs


Exposure strategies - e.g. Graded exposure

Behaviour activation

Self management - links to ABCs in Situation)

Chain analysis

Problem solving

Goal setting


Committed action (aligned with values)