Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance: You are okay just being you

Radical acceptance is a concept created by Marsha M. Linehan (the founder of dialectical behavioral therapy), to describe the idea of accepting reality in its totality without judgment or rejection. She describes it as accepting “your mind, your heart, and your body” in a way that is “complete and total.” While most things are easier said than done, this concept is easily broken down into manageable steps that you can incorporate into your everyday life. 

  • Reality as it is
    • Start with the facts of the situation outside of the emotional context.
  • Realistic limitations
    • Respect that limitations exist but understand that only the realistic ones need to be accepted.
  • Understanding that everything has a cause
    • Whether you like it or not, everything in this world has a cause.
  • Rejecting reality does not change reality
    • To truly be able to change your reality going forward, you have to first accept where you are starting.
  • There is always the opportunity for something painful to happen
    • Through acceptance of this, you invite opportunities for growth and change to happen.
  • Rejection of reality turns pain into suffering
    • Acceptance of pain allows you the opportunity to prevent suffering from beginning.  Accepting pain as it happens signals that something is wrong and that a change needs to be made.

You are okay being you and you are worthy of acceptance.  In those moments where you are not so convinced, take a moment to first check the facts of the situation without emotion or judgment.  Allow yourself the opportunity to exist as you are without all of the excessive outside noise.  


This article serves as a brief introduction to a DBT concept that is used in conjunction with other DBT techniques, and is not a comprehensive explanation of the therapeutic benefits.  For a more detailed and thorough demonstration please reach out to us via our Contact Us page or by calling 513-846-5283 to get matched to one of our incredibly knowledgeable and licensed therapists.  We at Tabono hope that you enjoyed this article and we look forward to meeting you, just as you are.


Linehan, M. M. (2015). Handouts for Reality Acceptance Skills. In DBT skills training handouts and worksheets (2nd ed., pp. 342–344). chapter, The Guilford Press.