Distress Tolerance Cards


1. FREE SHIPPING (More Details)
2. Help Your Client Finds Ways To Manage Their Pain More Effectively
3. The 147 distress management ideas
4. Color coded


Product Description

Help Your Client Finds Ways To Manage Their Pain More Effectively

The Distress Tolerance Cards provide an interactive and tactile experience for clients to examine various means for managing distress in their lives. The cards are color coded for easy reference with the reproducible client handout. The 147 distress management ideas are sorted by the client, resulting in a list of client identified effective strategies. The client goes home with a list of ideas for self-management to use when needing to self-soothe and deal effectively with discomfort.

How To Use The Cards

Prior to giving the deck to the client to sort, make a copy of the client handout from the reproducible handout.

Ask your client to sort the deck into three piles:

1) Strategies that work for them in managing distress,

2) Strategies that might work but are not familiar,

3) Strategies that would definitely not work as a tool for managing distress.

Explain each coping strategy as the client sorts them. Help them fully understand how each strategy might be effective in managing distress. If there is a method you recommend but do not see in the cards, create a card by filling out one of the accompanying blanks. Be sure to add this to your client handout. Likewise, take out strategies you don’t recommend.

As the client sorts the cards, mark their responses on the client handout. It is best to do this as the client continues to sort the cards so you don’t get backlogged. If the strategy is one that works for the client, highlight the whole phrase on the handout (see example). If the client thinks an unfamiliar strategy might be worth trying in the future, highlight the dot in front of the phrase (see example). For the pile of strategies the client does not believe would be helpful are simply not marked on the handout.

Give the client the marked handout. Explore with the client the categories of distress management options in which they have the most responses (i.e. Socializing vs. Relaxing Activities). This may be considered the clients preferred mode of soothing.

Ask the client if they have additional ideas for distress management. Add these to the handout. Encourage your clients to keep the list close by so they have access to these distress tolerance ideas when they need them.


I have been using your Distress Tolerance Cards and worksheet in my pediatric practice for many years. I have found them to be readily accepted by teens and have even had parents ask for their own copy of the worksheet. It has been an invaluable tool for an important subject that walks in my door on a regular basis. The tool makes my job much easier and the results are tangible. Thank you for creating such a useful, concise product.
Teri Pettersen, MD, The Children’s Clinic Portland, OR

The Distress Tolerance have helped my clients more quickly identify strategies to reduce their distress and begin feeling better. The way the cards are broken down into categories makes the process easier for clients and for me. Thank you for such an easy to use and understand tool.
Marla, MA LPC DEH, Salem, OR


  1. :

    These cards are so helpful when working with teens and young adults. They are easy to use and give great coping skill suggestions. My clients always respond very positively to these.

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