What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It was originally developed in the late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. However, it can also be used for many other kinds of disorders. Like CBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a form of talk therapy. DBT can be a helpful treatment for those who react to environmental or social factors in an extreme manner. DBT recognizes that some people are more prone to outbursts, specifically in relation to other people and environmental situations such as those with family, friends, and other kinds of emotionally stimulating environments. DBT teaches the client how to better cope with intense emotions.
DBT is typically comprised of weekly one-on-one psychotherapy sessions and weekly group therapy sessions. These sessions help the practitioner learn skills in four different modules: interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance/reality acceptance skills, emotion regulation, and mindfulness skills. The skills taught in these four modules including how to cope with emotionally intense situations, problem-solving, how to cope with conflict, and acceptance of oneself. Much of DBT is focused on the regulation of emotion. If you’ve been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder or are grappling with suicidal thoughts, addiction, chronic stress, eating and food issues, or multiple diagnoses, DBT can be an effective form of therapeutic intervention.
DBT can be an effective way to learn to deal with post-traumatic stress responses and other kinds of emotional stressors. It can increase the client’s self-respect, self-esteem, and overall sense of well being. While in DBT, you will learn how to properly identify and label emotions, increase positive emotional elements, increase your level of mindfulness around your emotions, apply distress tolerance techniques, and more.
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