- The diary card is a weekly self-monitoring tool with multiple functions including assisting the therapist in prioritizing targets for session.
- Failure to complete the diary card is considered a therapy-interfering behavior.
A thoroughly completed diary card is one of the individual therapist’s best tools. The diary card is completed by the patient daily and presented to the therapist just before or at the start of session. Failure to complete a diary card is considered to be a therapy-interfering behavior. How to address this therapy-interfering behavior is covered in more detail in the module on therapy-interfering behaviors as a whole. We will be covering the basics of a DBT diary card.
So what a *diary card looks like is it’s similar to a *spreadsheet. There are two sides to the diary card typically. On the* front side which is used in individual therapy, it looks like a spreadsheet with the *days of the week separated by rows and the *targets which are being addressed separated by columns. There is a *section for the patient to take note on specific days at the bottom but this is a really short condensed version of the patient’s day. This is *not a diary in the sense of a log of all of the thoughts, emotions and experiences of the patient. This is more data driven.