If you struggle with any of the following, DBT can help:
- feeling like your emotions overwhelm you
- frequent ups and downs in your relationships
- problems with anger, especially in your romantic relationships
- addictive or compulsive behavior
- feelings of hopelessness or depression
- thoughts of ending your life
What is DBT?
DBT combines contemporary research findings on what helps people make lasting change with ancient mindfulness practices borrowed from eastern and western contemplative traditions.
DBT was originally created by Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington to help people who struggled with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) which is often characterized by impulsive behavior, self-harm, difficulty in interpersonal relationships and intense emotional fluctuations. Now recognized as the gold standard in treating those with BPD, DBT has also proven to be more effective than traditional talk therapy in treating a range of issues that have difficulty in regulating emotions at their core.
DBT has 4 skills modules, which are taught in a skills group. Individual DBT therapy helps you apply the skills you learned in group in an in-depth way, helping you manage your emotions and your relationships more effectively and improve the overall quality of your life.
The 4 skills modules taught in a DBT Skills Group are:
- Emotion Regulation
- Interpersonal Effectiveness
- Distress Tolerance
What does “dialectic” mean in DBT?
The dialectic in DBT refers to two seemingly opposite things being true at the same time. For example, a central DBT tenet is that clients are doing the best they can and they need to try harder to get the life they want.
Another way of describing dialectics is balancing the opposing positions of acceptance and change. The 4 skill modules represent a tension between acceptance and change. You learn how to change behaviors, thoughts and emotions in the Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness skills set and you learn how to accept and tolerate what is actually happening in each moment in the Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance skills set.
How is DBT different than other therapies?
DBT provides a comprehensive set of practical skills to help you manage your emotions, change destructive behaviors and create a life with less suffering and more possibilities for contentment and joy. The therapy is structured around your goals and we will prioritize the things in your life that you most want to change.
If you are in standard DBT treatment, meaning you are in both individual DBT therapy and are participating in a DBT Skills Group, you will have access to phone skills coaching between sessions from your individual therapist to help you use the DBT skills when you most need them.