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DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY (DBT)

Are you or a loved one struggling with managing intense emotions or challenging, volatile relationships?

 

Many individuals face difficulties in regulating their emotions and coping with life’s stressors. This can lead them feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and out of control. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can help these individuals learn skills to navigate emotions with greater ease and confidence. 

 

DBT is a highly structured form of psychotherapy that combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with mindfulness techniques.

What is DBT?

DBT was pioneered by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s, initially to address the challenges of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

 

Since then, it has become an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health conditions.

 

At its core, DBT seeks to equip individuals with practical skills to navigate their emotions and interpersonal relationships.

 

Sometimes individuals who experience heightened emotional sensitivity can struggle to regulate their feelings. This can cause them to engage in behaviors that worsen their distress, strain their relationships, come with negative consequences, or that they often regret.

DBT is structured around four main concepts: Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Mindfulness.

 

By mastering these skills, individuals can improve their overall quality of life and achieve greater emotional stability. This comprehensive approach ensures that individuals receive ongoing support and reinforcement as they work toward their therapeutic goals.

How Does DBT Work?

During DBT therapy sessions, individuals work with a trained DBT therapist to identify problem areas and develop strategies for addressing them.

 

Techniques used in DBT include cognitive restructuring, behavioral activation, mindfulness meditation, and interpersonal effectiveness training.

 

Cognitive restructuring helps individuals challenge and reframe negative thought patterns to create a more balanced and helpful perspective. Behavior activation encourages individuals to engage in meaningful activities that promote a sense of accomplishment and well-being.

 

Mindfulness meditation teaches individuals how to cultivate present-moment awareness and acceptance of their thoughts and feelings. Interpersonal effectiveness training focuses on improving communication and relationship skills.

 

Through these techniques, individuals learn to challenge negative thought patterns, regulate their emotions, and communicate effectively with others.

What Does DBT Help With?

DBT has been shown to be effective in treating conditions such as:

 

  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): DBT helps individuals with BPD through building skills to regulate emotions, improve self-image, and build healthier relationships.
  • Aggression: DBT helps individuals regulate intense emotions that might otherwise lead to aggressive behaviour. 
  • Mood Disorders: DBT aids individuals with mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder by teaching coping skills for managing intense emotions, reducing symptoms of depression, and stabilizing mood swings.
  • Substance Use Disorders: DBT assists individuals with substance use disorders by helping them manage cravings, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and build skills for resisting urges to use substances, fostering recovery and relapse prevention.
  • Eating Disorders: DBT helps build skills to regulate intense emotions that might otherwise be soothed through the use of disordered eating behaviours.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): DBT aids individuals with PTSD through managing symptoms of hyperarousal and avoidance, and improving emotional regulation.

If you or someone you know could benefit from DBT, contact Monarch Psychology today to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled therapists. Take the first step towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.

 

Schedule your free consultation now.