Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a branch of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Its main focus is to change ineffective behavior patterns through mindfulness and the use of healthy coping skills to manage stress, emotional distress and interpersonal relationships.
DBT was developed, by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, originally created for borderline personality disorder and suicidal behaviors; however, it has been adapted and extensively proven, through research, to be effective in clients struggling with self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, eating disorders, avoidance, isolation, etc.
DBT works to create a holistic model of emotional management by acknowledging three basic principles
  • All things are interconnected.
  • Change is constant and inevitable.
  • Black and white or all or nothing thinking can be integrated to form a grey area which is more likely a closer estimation of the truth.
 
DBT utilizes 5 area of growth
  • Mindfulness skills, are developed to focus attention and awareness within the present moment.
  • Distress Tolerance, is learned acceptance of oneself and the current situation and management of extreme emotions.
  • Emotion Regulation includes identifying and coping with negative emotions while building positive emotional experiences,
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness incorporates effective ways to “use your voice” or express your needs, while cultivation a positive and healthy relationship.
  • Walking the middle path is narrowing the extremes of ridged, black and white, dichotomous thinking/reactions to life events and discovering how too opposite things can both have truth to them.
 
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