What is Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)?

What is Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)? Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was originally developed to help people struggling with borderline personality disorder. It has since been applied to a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, and PTSD. DBT is based on the idea that individuals who experience intense emotions and have difficulty regulating them often lack the skills necessary to cope effectively with life stressors. DBT emphasizes the importance of acceptance and validation of an individual’s experience while also emphasizing the need for change. DBT focuses on four main areas:

  1. Mindfulness: The practice of being present and non-judgmental in the moment. This helps individuals to develop awareness of their emotions and to better regulate them.
  2. Distress Tolerance: Techniques for coping with intense emotions in the moment without making the situation worse.
  3. Emotional Regulation: Strategies for managing and reducing intense emotions over time.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Techniques for improving communication and relationships with others.

DBT often involves both individual and group therapy sessions. It is a structured and time-limited therapy that typically lasts for six months to a year, although the length of treatment can vary depending on the individual’s needs.

Shervan K Shahhian

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