I recently purchased a new book for counseling (thanks to a referral from one of my LinkedIn contacts) titled Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills: 101 Mindfulness Exercises and Other Fun Activities for Children and Adolescents. It’s such a long name for a book, but I have found great activities inside.
One of the activities I absolutely love so far is creating what they call a “DBT House.” Here’s how it works:
Creating Your House Template:
Draw an outline of the house. Be sure to include a floor, roof, door, chimney, four levels, and a billboard above the house. The house will be used to represent the participant’s life.
If you buy the book, you can use their outline for a house if desired. I prefer to draw my own house, or have the client draw their house.
Parts of the House:
Foundation: On the floor of the house, write the values that govern your life.
Walls: Along the walls, write anything or anyone who supports you.
Roof: On the roof, name the things or people that protect you.
Door: Write the things that you keep hidden from others.
Chimney: Coming out of the chimney, write down ways in which you blow off steam.
Billboard: On the billboard, write the things you are proud of and want others to see.
Levels of the House:
Level 1: List behaviors that you are trying to gain control over or areas of your life you want to change.
Level 2: List or draw emotions you want to experience more often, more fully, or in a more healthy way.
Level 3: List all the things you are happy about or want to feel happy about.
Level 4: List or draw what a “Life Worth Living” would look like for you.
Have you used this activity or a similar activity? What kinds of questions would you ask after completing this activity?