What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that integrates principles of acceptance and mindfulness with strategies for regulating emotions and improving interpersonal relationships. It was initially developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) but has since been adapted to address various mental health conditions characterized by emotional dysregulation and interpersonal difficulties.

Who Benefits 

DBT is beneficial for:

  • Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • People with chronic suicidal ideation or self-harm behaviors
  • Those experiencing severe emotional dysregulation
  • Clients with eating disorders and substance abuse issues

What to Expect

In DBT sessions:

  1. Individual Therapy: One-on-one sessions to address personal issues and practice DBT skills.
  2. Skills Training Groups: Group sessions focused on teaching DBT skills.
  3. Phone Coaching: Providing support and guidance between sessions.
  4. Team Consultation: Therapists receive support and guidance from a consultation team.

How it Works

DBT works by:

  1. Mindfulness: Teaching clients to be present in the moment and aware of their thoughts and feelings.
  2. Distress Tolerance: Developing skills to tolerate and survive crises without making them worse.
  3. Emotion Regulation: Learning to understand and manage intense emotions.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Improving communication and relationship skills to get needs met effectively.

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