Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD). It has since been shown to be effective in treating conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Unlike other forms of therapy, which may focus on the past or present, DBT looks at the present moment and how your thoughts and feelings are affecting your behavior in that moment. This can help you learn how to change your behavior so you can achieve more fulfilling relationships with yourself and others in the future.
What is DBT?
DBT is a type of therapy used to treat mental health disorders. It was first developed as a treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD), but has since been shown to be effective for other conditions, including depression and anxiety. DBT teaches clients new ways to deal with difficult situations and emotions that can help improve their quality of life. The four main components of DBT are: Distress Tolerance Skills, Mindfulness Skills, Emotion Regulation Skills, and Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills.
Which Conditions Can Benefit From DBT?
DBT was initially developed as a treatment for borderline personality disorder, and research shows that it is an effective tool for people with a range of other mental health disorders. Some research has found that DBT can help alleviate symptoms in patients with these disorders: depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-harm/suicidal behavior and eating disorders. While DBT might not be a cure-all for every single mental health condition out there, it does seem to help reduce some symptoms and improve overall quality of life for many people.
Who Can Benefit From DBT?
Any person struggling with any type of mental illness can benefit from DBT. The therapy can help reduce symptoms in those diagnosed with mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, and it can help treat conditions associated with schizophrenia and personality disorders. People dealing with addiction and their families also find DBT helpful. Teenagers who are struggling emotionally after a traumatic event or loss may also benefit from treatment using DBT techniques. If you’re suffering emotionally but are unable to identify what’s causing your stress or how to fix it, you might benefit from learning more about how DBT works.
How Is DBT Different Than CBT and Other Therapies?
DBT was developed to help people with treatment-resistant psychiatric problems. CBT, on the other hand, is a more general form of therapy that can be used to treat a variety of different mental health issues. DBT stands out for its structured approach to helping people deal with and improve their lives. It focuses on identifying negative or destructive thought patterns and behaviors, and then gradually replacing them with positive alternatives. The ultimate goal is to promote emotional regulation and self-acceptance in clients so they can cope in healthy ways with whatever life throws at them. DBT has a reputation for being especially helpful in treating borderline personality disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, and other psychiatric problems related to self-harm or dysfunction.