What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) created by psychological researcher Marsha Linehan, initially to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD). It aims on helping people to change unhelpful behavioral patterns for more positive ones. Recognizing that some people tend to react more strongly to emotional triggers in their environment, the therapy focuses on learning about what things trigger destructive behaviors and thoughts; and how one can acquire new skills to use in the process of learning how to react differently.
DBT can be useful for people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or a range of problems, including suicidal ideation, mood disorders, self-harming, eating disorders, and much more. It has been shown to be effective even in patients who have proven very difficult to treat, and who sometimes don’t even seem to want to get better.
If you undergo a course of DBT, you’ll learn techniques that you can use to regulate your emotions more effectively, as well as useful skills around reality testing and acceptance. You’ll also learn about mindfulness; which is a technique with origins in meditation, with clinically proven therapeutic usefulness.
DBT acknowledges that you can’t always change everything that causes you distress in your life and environment, and helps you to learn how to tolerate difficult emotions and think about them in a more useful way, while also taking steps to create a lifestyle that is conducive to good physical as well as psychological health.
In the process of all this, you will learn to see your therapists as allies in your journey towards psychological health.
When engaging with BPD treatment, you will work with a team and can make contact at any time to receive additional support between your scheduled sessions. The team of practitioners you are working with will meet regularly to provide one another with feedback and support.
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