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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Updated:

Jul 8, 2023

Reviewed by:

Ben Pearson, LCSW

"Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an evidence-based treatment that combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with acceptance-based strategies to help individuals develop skills for emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness." - National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Overview

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that uses cognitive techniques. It was developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD) and has recently been used to help with other mental conditions. DBT helps individuals regulate their emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, tolerate distress, and cultivate mindfulness.

Process

What is the DBT Process?

  • Individual Therapy: Clients work one-on-one with a therapist to address their specific goals and challenges. The therapist provides guidance, teaches skills, and helps the client apply the learned techniques to real-life situations.


  • Skills Training: Group sessions focus on teaching specific skills in areas such as emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness. Clients learn and practice these skills in a supportive group setting.


  • Phone Coaching: Clients have access to their therapist for brief phone consultations between sessions to receive guidance and support in applying the skills during challenging situations.


  • Consultation Team: Therapists providing DBT receive supervision and support from a consultation team to ensure adherence to the treatment model and address any challenges in the therapeutic process.

process

Benefits

Physical Benefits

  • Reduced physical symptoms associated with stress and emotional dysregulation

  • Improved sleep quality and patterns

  • Enhanced self-care practices and healthier lifestyle choices