Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Similar to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach that aims to teach residents how to live in the present moment and gives them tools to face intense emotions. This approach supports the dialectic philosophy that all things are interconnected, and change is constant and inevitable. Initially designed for borderline personality disorder, DBT has been adapted to treat other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation.
How Does Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Work?
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) operates through a structured and comprehensive approach that integrates cognitive-behavioral techniques, mindfulness practices, and dialectical thinking. It’s designed to help residents develop skills to manage intense emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, and enhance their overall emotional well-being.
DBT provides a comprehensive toolkit for individuals to regulate emotions, cope with distress, navigate relationships, and improve their overall emotional resilience. The structured approach and emphasis on practical skills make DBT effective for various mental health conditions, particularly those involving emotional dysregulation and interpersonal challenges. It’s important to note that DBT is typically delivered by trained therapists in individual and group settings.
The Four Skills of DBT
- Mindfulness: Become more aware of the present without judging yourself or others. Learn to focus on one thing at a time.
- Distress Tolerance: Emphasizes acceptance when difficult situations arise. Accept what you don’t have control over.
- Emotion Regulation: Learn how different emotions shape your behavior. Recognizing and labeling emotions while avoiding situations that typically trigger you.
- Interpersonal Skills: Take care of yourself and learn how to create healthy relationships. Work through conflict and communication with others.