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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

May 17, 2021

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy(DBT) can help you learn to get a handle on difficult emotions.  

DBT was created by psychologist Marsha Linehan, who specialized in working with patients with borderline personality disorder(BPD)  or continuous thoughts of suicide.  Today, it is still used to treat BPD as well as eating disorders, self-harm, depression, and substance abuse.

You will learn 4 core skills with DBT to help cope with your emotions in positive & productive ways.  Mindfulness & distress skills help you work toward accepting your thoughts & behavior.  Emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness help you to work toward changing your thought & behavior.

  • Mindfulness is all about being aware of & accepting what is happening at the present moment.  It can help you to learn to notice & accept your thoughts and feelings without discrimination.
  • Distress tolerance can assist you to get through rough patches without turning to potentially destructive behaviors you may have.,
  • Interpersonal effectiveness can help you be clear about things.  They combine listening skills, social skills, and assertive training to help you learn how to change the outcome of a situation while remaining sincere to your values.
  • Emotional regulation helps you to deal with primary emotional reactions before they lead to a chain of secondary reactions.

DBT uses three types of approaches to teaching the four core skills.  There is one-on-one therapy, a skills training group, and phone coaching.  Some believe that is a combination of approaches is a part of what makes DBT so effective.

If you frequently find yourself in emotional torment and want to learn some new coping methods, DBT may be a suitable choice for you.