Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: The workbook provides exercises for addressing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms using dialectical behavior therapy. The exercises help clients to identify triggers, manage stress, and regulate emotions. It is a self-help guide that is evidence-based.
Purpose: It is designed to present "practical exercises for overcoming trauma and PTSD using mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, dialectical thinking, and interpersonal effectiveness skills." It promises readers, "You'll learn how to be present in the moment and identify the things or situations that trigger your trauma. You'll also find activities to help you cope with stress, manage intense emotions, reduce conflict with others, and move past the unhealthy thoughts that keep you feeling stuck."
Audience: The audience is clients who have experienced trauma or have been diagnosed with PTSD. The author is a licensed psychologist who works with residential populations and traumatized adolescents.
Features: The book describes the basic elements of dialectical behavior therapy, along with the effects of trauma and mindfulness. Awareness, acceptance, and action are important components of applied mindfulness. Awareness involves what is known/unknown to self. There are stages of acceptance including denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. The client must move from acceptance to action in order for gains to be made. DBT has coping skills for distress tolerance which turns "unbearable pain into bearable pain." DBT emphasizes balanced thinking, which can result in efficient problem-solving. There are strategies for managing emotions such as addressing physical symptoms, having a good diet, exercising daily, taking only medication prescribed by a physician, and proper sleep. Balance within relationships can be restored by being assertive (not aggressive), realizing that others have needs, and apologizing for any harm the client may have caused. Finally, it is helpful for clients to keep a diary to monitor triggers, thoughts, and feelings. The workbook contains exercises in every chapter so that the method and techniques can be understood.
Assessment: This is an excellent workbook written at a basic level and easy for clients to understand. The exercises are helpful and show how the theory can be applied in everyday life to address PTSD symptoms. Clients will find this material helpful, which hopefully will lead to more fulfilling and productive lives.
“Kirby Reutter provides simple techniques to follow that can help many people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He teaches us to be aware of our emotions and respond in a way that can be helpful for all of us, leading to better relationships and ultimately a better quality of life.” —Tabor Dizon, PA-C, MHS, psychiatry and urgent care medicine
“Kirby Reutter’s workbook fills a critical need for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder to embark on a journey toward improved emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal relationships, and self-esteem in a compassionate and validating manner. I especially appreciate the inclusion of a strong empirical foundation, in true scientist-practitioner form, that is often lacking in other self-help books. As a psychologist in independent practice for over twenty years who regularly uses dialectical behavior therapy approaches with a variety of patients, I strive to find effective, engaging, and evidence-based tools to supplement psychotherapy. With contagious enthusiasm, and the use of vivid metaphors and handy mnemonics, the author has produced a workbook that is fresh and relatable, sparks curiosity, and keeps one’s interest to the very end with practical and effective exercises. I will be using this with my patients!” —Cheryl L. Hall, PhD, psychologist and past president of the Texas Psychological Association
“Kirby Reutter’s The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills Workbook for PTSD is an accessible, intelligently written, and hope-inspiring resource for trauma survivors and professionals working with survivors. Through encouraging exercises, memorable acronyms, supporting research, and use of humor, Reutter has crafted a workbook that provides clients the opportunity to improve their relationship to self, others, and their environment. Effectively and thoroughly described techniques help illuminate the path of healing and growth. There is a harmony between skill development and self-reflection presented, which supplies survivors with the direction needed to construct the life and change they desire.” —Jennifer Young, MA, LPC, private group practice practitioner
“Kirby Reutter has created an invaluable resource for applying scientifically proven dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills to treat anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language, The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for PTSD is a welcome addition to the field and will help clinicians and clients alike master the necessary skills in regulating emotions while discovering new ways to tolerate stressful situations in the context of mindfulness.” —Allan J. Katz, LPC/CSAT, director of Rediscovery Counseling and Coaching in Memphis, TN; and coauthor of Experiential Group Therapy Interventions with DBT
“A one-of-a-kind self-help workbook that conquers various essential aspects regarding taking control of your symptoms and getting back in the driver’s seat of your life. A very thorough, straightforward, and hands-on approach to overcoming trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. Kirby Reutter really nails the therapy toolbox. I would highly recommend this book as a complementary source to therapy, or for one who chooses to attempt to work through things on his or her own.” —Amber Weiss, LMHC, NCC, in private practice in Manhattan
"Kirby Reutter does an excellent job of incorporating evidence-based concepts, practical skills, and real-life examples. Greatly simplifies the coursework, making it easy to follow for the reader. Encourages and motivates one in their journey through their own path of healing. This workbook is an excellent tool that would benefit trauma survivors and those working in the field of trauma.” —Danette Montoya, MSW, LCSW, psychotherapist and military sexual trauma coordinator at the San Francisco VA Health Care System
“This workbook is a gift for everyone who struggles with trauma-related mental health challenges. The approach is supportive and caring. The language is easy to understand, with examples, activities, and tools that facilitate change. Although created for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, it can be useful for anyone that struggles with emotional or relationship issues. Kirby Reutter has developed a therapeutic approach that empowers clients to take control of their mental health, and he now shares it with us. Clinicians will find this to be an excellent adjunct to therapy, and clients will treasure it as a resource to revisit during difficult times.” —Silvia M. Bigatti, PhD, professor at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis
“Few pastors are prepared to truly understand the impact of abuse and other forms of trauma when they begin their service—much less understand how to provide counseling support that is effective. Kirby Reutter’s workbook provides structure and guidance in a form that is easy to follow. It is written in simple language that all can understand. His humor-tinged approach invites engagement and encourages follow-through each step of the way. I wish I would have had this workbook years ago!” —Mike Leman, LICM, served as the overseeing pastor of churches in the United States and Mexico since 2002, providing counseling to numerous trauma survivors
“Kirby Reutter expertly guides the mental health practitioner and the trauma sufferer, alike, through the pursuit of balance, utilizing dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) techniques cherry-picked for their utility. Reutter patiently and effectively explains the processes with a teacher’s heart, building on and reinforcing concepts previously delivered. He is a delight to learn from in person; reading his writing is the next best thing to listening to him directly! This book will be a go-to compendium many times in my work with clients!” —Roger Gasser, LPCC, LMHC, CADAC IV, worked in both public and private school settings; as a faith-based counselor in a teenage residential facility, and as a therapist in a national denomination’s call-in agency
“Kirby Reutter presents a unique, fresh, and user-friendly perspective applying dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) concepts and skills to trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His use of short, simple acronyms to remember critical concepts with clients is refreshing and most importantly useful! Clinicians want to turn to something they can use with clients NOW. Reutter provides us with that and more. He created flow and explanation in this workbook that are easy to learn and easy to teach clients. I have taught and developed DBT programs for twenty years and will be keeping this book front and center in my work!” —Beth Robbins, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist
“As a US Army corpsman serving as a combat medic and a medical lab tech at the 93rd Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh, Vietnam, I was exposed to far too much human carnage, body bags, drug abuse, and waste of young lives. Then after my tour of duty, I returned home to continue what I thought was a normal life. But after experiencing these traumatic events, they just didn’t go away. For over forty years, I realized that no matter what I tried, I could not just ‘get over it.’ At the urging of my family, and having a VA disability rating that provided mental health treatment, I sought professional help and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After a few counseling visits, my journey to recovery began. Kirby Reutter’s TheDialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for PTSD was prescribed early on in my treatment, and I could see myself over and over again. Each chapter covers a different segment of the reoccurring theme of ‘restoring balance’ in all aspects of life, followed by ‘The Last Word,’ which made it not only understandable, but also applicable. This is a very well-written workbook, and I highly recommend this workbook for any PTSD-recovering combat soldier.” —Duane Boyd, US Army MOS 92B10, 92B20; Vietnam veteran from 1970–1972
“Having had the privilege to take one of Kirby Reutter’s workshops, I was delighted to know that he had created TheDialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook for PTSD. What a wonderful way to explain dialectical behavior therapy in common, everyday language. This is a workbook that can be considered the light at the end of the tunnel for those suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as so many other disorders. Simple steps and amazing exercises to calm the chaos in our minds is what I found, and I include myself in dealing with my own PTSD.” —Annemarie Maroney, AMFT, creator of HELP from Ana Maroney
“This workbook has extremely well-thought-out organization and techniques to follow, which allows those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to use this workbook for self-help or with a therapist. It is a workbook that truly guides the PTSD sufferer toward healing, rather than mainly a study guide that teaches the reader only information. These workbook exercises are clear, easy to understand, and easy to apply.” —Harriet Farney, PhD, education management consultant
“Drawing from a growing body of evidence-based support for the use of dialectical behavior therapy in treating those suffering lasting effects of trauma, Kirby Reutter delivers an incredible collection of skills and exercises to help foster healing for these individuals. This workbook provides invaluable tools in an encouraging and accessible manner, while also offering honest and realistic guidance on when seeking additional professional help may be most prudent. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for PTSD is most assuredly a crucial, cutting-edge resource for both clients as well as clinicians.” —Sheresa Wilson-DeVries, PA-C, LMCHA, physician assistant in the family medicine and addictions clinic at the ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital; and adjunct professor in the department of physician assistant studies at Trine University
“Very engaging from the first page. Kirby Reutter does a great job of taking twenty years of trauma psychoeducation and breaking it down into terms that are understandable. Each chapter has a brief explanation followed by an exercise to work through. I enjoy the ‘congratulations’ at the end of each exercise. It makes you feel like you accomplished something. I also like the fact that you can work at your own pace and make choices about the action you will take. I feel that this is very empowering in trauma work. I cannot wait to use this with clients!” —Vikki Heins, MA, LMHC, twenty years of work in field of trauma and addictions
“Restoring balance! Kirby Reutter has complied many useful exercises to aid anyone in the healing process. I have used his exercises in my own life, in my practice with counseling women who have experienced trauma, and I have recommended his work for individuals to use on their own. Reutter frames concepts in a way that is very practical and useful. These exercises are easy to use and demonstrate growth. I am excited to have this resource published and available for a wider population to access for their own healing.” —Charla Leman, LCSW, CADAC IV, supervising counselor at Gateway Woods Family Services, cofounder of the drug and alcohol program at Gateway Woods Residential Services, and cofounder of BASICS at Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services
“Kirby Reutter has used his knowledge, passion, and experience to write a workbook that is applicable to individuals that struggle with trauma. His approach through real examples, along with his unique sense of humor, is truly captured in his work. Having worked alongside him, the workbook reads as many of his therapy sessions would play out. He uses language that is understandable and relatable, and offers a vantage point that allows individuals to feel comfortable and as though this is a journey and not a life sentence. He provides the education and tools needed, offering support throughout the process of healing.” —Nicole Johnson-Smith, MS, CCTP, LMHC-A, director of the LaGrange County Northeastern Center, and adjunct faculty of the Jannen School of Arts and Sciences at Trine University
“Kirby Reutter delivered again! His dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) self-help book teaches trauma survivors to go beyond numbing their pain; rather, they are guided in restoring the balance of their thoughts and emotions. Reutter breaks down ‘applied mindfulness’ into eye-opening sections that can speak to all. The enlightening flow from acceptance to action, accompanied by his therapeutic tools, such as the RAIN DANCE technique, will work to navigate through relationships, life, and self. His adaptation of DBT for post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers will help to facilitate healing the pain now and in the future with supportive exercises throughout this book.” —Iva Svancarova, clinical mental health counselor and DBT enthusiast currently practicing in New York, NY