Wise Mind (Linehan 1993) is the balanced part of us that comprises our inner knowledge and intuition, where our emotional thinking mind (thoughts driven by distressing feelings) and rational thinking mind come together, the part of us that just "knows" that true reality.

Emotion mind drives opinion, whilst reasonable mind is fact-based (fact or opinion?) Asking ourselves what 'wise mind' might make of this situation will help us to stand back and be more aware of the bigger picture, and help us respond in more helpful and effective ways.

Within any meeting of people all the individuals will of course have their own belief system, and will therefore have different perspectives - see and think about things differently - and this will affect the way these individuals interact with each other.

We can learn to be more aware of how our own belief system affects us, and consider how others might see the same situation quite differently.

Wise Mind is the balanced part of us that comprises our knowledge and intuition, where thinking mind and emotion mind come together, the part of us that just "knows", that inner  truth:


"Wise Mind" can be replaced with the most helpful term for you, e.g. clean mind (substance misuse), or "Emotion Mind" could be replaced with e.g. anorexia mind, OCD mind, depression mind, trauma mind.

DBT uses the theory of Wise Mind (Linehan 1993) - the part of our mind where 'Emotional Mind' (thoughts based on our feelings) and 'Reasonable Mind' (rational thinking part) merge together.

Emotion Mind

Thinking and behaviour controlled by emotional state
Thoughts are unhelpful and distressing
Difficult to think logically and rationally
Facts are distorted to fit with current distress
Strong emotions drive strong behaviour
What I want to do

Reasonable Mind

Intellectual, scientific
Logical and rational thinking
Factual thinking, based on evidence
Able to plan how to respond
Focuses attention
Cool in approaching problems
What I should do

Wise Mind

Integrates Emotion Mind and Reasonable Mind
Adds intuitive knowing to emotional distress and logical analysis
The calm that follows a storm
Sees or knows something directly and clearly
Grasps the bigger picture, rather than just parts
Ensures needs of both Emotion Mind and Reasonable Mind are met: Reasonable Mind is right, but Emotion Mind needs to be soothed
What's the most appropriate and effective skills that I could use for this situation?




Wise Mind worksheet (PDF)

Female voice, with music.

19 mins 40
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Male voice, with music.

25 mins

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