Understanding Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral treatment that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of therapy. DBT was originally developed by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s to better treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and chronically suicidal individuals. It has since been adapted for a wide range of psychological issues and settings, offering hope and a new path for individuals struggling with a variety of emotional difficulties.

The Core of DBT: Balancing Acceptance and Change

DBT is built on the dialectical process of balancing acceptance and change. This innovative therapy helps individuals learn to accept themselves, their history, and their current situations, all while working toward changing their thoughts, behaviors, and relationships that are not serving their well-being.

How DBT Works

DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. DBT is structured to include both individual therapy sessions and group skills training classes to optimize treatment outcomes.

The Four Modules of DBT Skills

  1. Mindfulness: The practice of being fully aware and present in this moment.
  2. Distress Tolerance: Increasing your tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it.
  3. Emotion Regulation: Learning to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in your life.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Learning to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.

Who Can Benefit from DBT?

While DBT was originally developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder, it has been effectively adapted for treating a variety of mental health issues, including but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

DBT is suitable for anyone struggling with emotional regulation, interpersonal issues, self-harmful behaviors, or anyone who feels overwhelmed by their emotions.

What to Expect in DBT

Participants in DBT can expect a commitment to a therapeutic process that involves regular individual sessions with a trained therapist, participation in group skills training, and access to crisis coaching as needed. The overarching goal is to build a life that feels meaningful and fulfilling.

DBT at Plum Behavioral Health Services

At Plum Behavioral Health Services, we specialize in providing comprehensive DBT services delivered by compassionate and skilled therapists. We offer a supportive and non-judgmental environment where individuals can embark on their journey towards healing and self-discovery. Our team is dedicated to empowering you with the skills needed to navigate life's challenges and to build a life worth living.

Get Started on Your Path to Well-being

If you're interested in learning more about DBT and how it can help you or a loved one, contact Plum Behavioral Health Services today. Our team is ready to answer your questions and guide you through the process of beginning DBT. Together, we can take the first step towards positive change.

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