Dialectical Behavior Therapy-DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it has been found to be effective in treating other mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). DBT focuses on developing skills to manage intense emotions, improve relationships, and build a life worth living.

DBT is typically conducted in both individual and group settings. In individual therapy, the therapist helps the client identify their goals and develop skills to achieve them. In group therapy, clients learn skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Homework assignments are an important part of DBT, and clients are expected to practice the skills they learn in therapy outside of sessions. This can include completing diary cards to track emotions, practicing mindfulness exercises, and using specific communication techniques to improve relationships.

Skills Learned in DBT

Here are some of the skills that are typically taught in DBT:

Mindfulness: Developing the ability to stay present in the moment and observe thoughts and emotions without judgment.

Distress Tolerance: Learning to tolerate intense emotions without engaging in harmful behaviors.

These skills are taught through a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and homework assignments. Clients are encouraged to practice the skills regularly to build mastery and achieve their goals.

Duration of DBT

The length of DBT treatment can vary depending on the individual’s needs and goals. Typically, treatment lasts between 6 months to a year, with weekly individual therapy sessions and group therapy sessions. Some individuals may benefit from longer treatment, while others may find that they have achieved their goals and can end treatment earlier.

Is DBT right for you?

DBT may be a helpful therapy for individuals who struggle with intense emotions, difficulty regulating emotions, and challenges in relationships. It can also be effective in treating symptoms of PTSD. However, it is important to speak with a mental health professional to determine if DBT is the right fit for your specific needs and goals.