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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) originated as a targeted intervention for borderline personality disorder, and its efficacy has transcended to encompass various conditions. This therapeutic approach has proven effectiveness in addressing substance use disorders, eating disorders, depression, and suicidal behavior, making it a versatile and valuable tool for comprehensive mental health treatment. Explore how DBT can provide holistic support for a range of mental health challenges.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is essentially a package that uses selected cognitive and behavioral therapeutic techniques. DBT was developed specifically to meet the challenges of borderline personality disorder. The psychologist who developed DBT, Marsha Linehan, found that borderline personality disorder made patients especially sensitive to criticism and emotional distress. As a result, they felt alienated by established cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which emphasizes changing thoughts and behaviors. Patients who felt criticized or invalidated were more likely to drop out of treatment.

What distinguishes DBT from CBT is that DBT emphasizes acceptance of challenging emotions as part of the process and helps clients better tolerate that emotional distress. Whereas a therapist using CBT might directly challenge a client’s feelings resulting from a cognitive distortion, a DBT therapist might be willing to validate those feelings and focus on productive ways to handle them.

How Does DBT Work?

Standard DBT treatment consists of one hour of individual therapy per week and one and a half to two hours of group skills training per week. DBT therapists also consult on how to provide the best treatment.

DBT focuses on the assumption that biology influences how we experience emotions. People sensitive to strong emotions are often not taught how to manage them. Therefore, a significant component of DBT is teaching people how to recognize, understand, and regulate their emotions. Therapists need to teach clients how to manage strong emotions.

Mindfulness is another vital skill taught as part of DBT. It improves distress tolerance. Rather than trying to avoid or suppress unpleasant emotions, you learn to accept them. Second, mindfulness keeps you focused on what’s happening at the moment.

Finally, DBT group work focuses on interpersonal effectiveness. People who struggle with borderline personality disorder often misinterpret the motivations of others and react inappropriately. Therefore, practicing how to interact with others in the face of strong emotions is a valuable skill for anyone with borderline personality disorder. However, interpersonal effectiveness is a vital skill for everyone. Better interpersonal skills strengthen relationships and reduce friction. Practicing these skills in the safe environment of group therapy is a great way to improve.

Benefits of DBT

Dialectical behavior therapy is effective in helping people recover from addiction. Dialectical behavior therapy can help you:

  • Improve your relationships by opening communication, learning to set and respect boundaries, and building trust.
  • Improve your life at work, home, or school by applying the tools learned in DBT to all aspects of your life.
  • Improve your quality of life by helping you make changes that move you in a better direction.
  • There is always help available to anyone struggling with addiction and ready to start taking their first steps toward recovery. Is DBT the right option for you in treatment?

Find Out If You Could Benefit from DBT at California Prime Recovery

We offer a safe, nurturing, and healing space for men and women to find recovery from the multifaceted disease of addiction. Our team believes in inspiring clients to face their challenges, discover the root of their problems, and reclaim their lives. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call us today or contact us through our admissions page. Reach out to California Prime Recovery today if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or mental health challenges and could benefit from dialectical behavior therapy. We’re here to help. 866-208-2390

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