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  • Jennifer Smith

States of Mind

This week’s DBT skill of focus, as seen on our instagram (@smithpsychotherapygroup), is mindfulness. Within mindfulness, there are three States of Mind. States of Mind refer to the way we portray certain situations, our outlook or perspective. They guide us in the decisions we make and the emotions we feel. The three States of Mind are: Emotion Mind, Reason Mind, and Wise Mind. Let’s take a closer look to see what these really mean…

Emotion Mind

In this state, we are locked in on our emotions. Our thoughts and actions are controlled by our feelings; this can be either enjoyable or difficult, depending on what emotion you are feeling. We are too focused on our emotions that we are neglecting the facts at hand. Some examples of being in Emotion Mind include: breaking up with your significant other, fighting with loved ones, competing in an athletic competition, falling in love, and listening to music. Although acting out of our emotions may feel right, it is always important to review the facts before making an important decision. Which brings us right to...

Reason Mind

In contrast to Emotion Mind, Reason Mind is solely based on facts and evidence. In Reason Mind we are always analyzing the situation and thinking logically. We are not focused on emotions whatsoever. Here are some triggering examples: solving a math problem, baking cookies, reading a book, and learning to drive.

Wise Mind

Lastly, Wise Mind is a combination of our emotions and reasoning. In this state we make decisions based on both our feelings and the facts. Wise mind leads us to living the most healthy and effective life we possibly can. Some examples of situations where Wise Mind is in use are: getting work done before going out with friends, asking for help with feeling overwhelmed, using a DBT skill instead of engaging in self-harm.

In conclusion, Keep Calm and use Wise Mind.

Source: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training with Adolescents by Jean Eich PsyD, LP


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