What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy that focuses on helping people learn to accept and manage their emotions.
It was developed by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan in the early 1990s as an effective treatment for individuals struggling with severe mental health issues, such as borderline personality disorder or suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
DBT places equal focus on both acceptance and change strategies in order to help clients create positive changes in their lives.
What are the goals of DBT therapy?
The goal of DBT is to help people develop skills to regulate intense emotions, reduce conflict with others, manage stressful thoughts, identify healthy coping strategies and make meaningful connections with others.
What are the key features of DBT therapy sessions?
DBT therapy sessions typically involve individual therapy, group skills training, and telephone coaching.
Individual therapy helps the client identify patterns of behaviour that are causing distress in their life and works on developing new coping strategies to replace them. Group skills training focuses on teaching clients ways to manage emotions, cope with stressors, build meaningful relationships and practice mindfulness. Telephone coaching is available for additional support between sessions.
By actively engaging in all aspects of DBT treatment, individuals learn how to maintain healthy relationships, regulate their emotions and develop a healthier way of life.
How does DBT therapy work?
DBT is based on the idea that two seemingly opposing forces – acceptance and change – can coexist within a person. This concept is known as “dialectical” because it strives to find balance between both forces.
During DBT therapy, clients learn skills to better understand their emotions, tolerate distress and manage difficult situations without resorting to negative behaviours or self-harm. They work with their therapist to identify triggers for intense emotions and then use various techniques (such as mindfulness, cognitive restructuring, emotion regulation and distress tolerance) to cope more effectively.
By using these evidence-based techniques in individual sessions, group settings and through telephone coaching, individuals are able to make lasting changes in their lives.
Who can benefit from DBT therapy sessions?
Anyone struggling with intense emotions, destructive behaviours or difficulty managing stress can benefit from DBT. It is especially useful for individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as borderline personality disorder or depression.
DBT has also been proven effective for those dealing with low self-esteem, relationship issues, grief and addiction. Regardless of the issue at hand, DBT can help people to better understand their emotions and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
If you think DBT might be helpful to you or someone you know, it’s important to talk to a qualified therapist about your options. Through commitment and hard work in therapy sessions and practice outside of treatment, individuals can learn how to reduce distress and take an active role in their lives.
DBT can be an effective form of therapy for many people, so it’s important to consider all the options before making a decision. With the help of a qualified therapist, individuals can learn how to make meaningful changes in their lives and take an active role in their own wellbeing.
Watch the video below to further understand DBT.
What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?
How often do I need to attend DBT therapy sessions?
The frequency of DBT therapy sessions depends on the individual and the goals they are working towards. Generally, individuals attend one to two weekly sessions and participate in optional skills training classes or telephone coaching sessions. The length of treatment can vary depending on the progress made but usually takes between nine and eighteen months.
Ultimately, a qualified therapist can help you decide how often you should attend DBT therapy sessions based on your individual needs and preferences.
Are there any risks associated with DBT therapy?
DBT is considered a safe and effective treatment for many individuals. However, it’s important to be aware of potential risks associated with any type of therapy. During DBT, clients may experience uncomfortable thoughts or emotions related to their past experiences. It’s important to discuss any concerns you have with your therapist before beginning treatment and make sure you feel comfortable discussing these topics in therapy sessions.
It’s also worth noting that some people find the intensity of DBT challenging and may have difficulty committing to the program. To ensure success, it’s essential to work closely with a qualified therapist and take an active role in all aspects of treatment – including individual sessions, group skills training and telephone coaching.
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Disclaimer: The content provided above is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Nothing contained herein constitutes.