Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a kind of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) developed in the late 1980s to help treat borderline personality disorder.
It has since been used to treat other kinds of mental health illnesses including borderline personality disordered patients with co-existing substance abuse problems.
As a CBT analogue, DBT is a skills training therapy specifically designed to treat borderline personality disorder and includes 4 behavioral components:
- Core mindfulness
- Distress tolerance
- Emotion regulation
- Interpersonal effectiveness.
Together, the four skills-therapy components are designed to specifically assist guests in managing behaviors, emotions and thoughts, a difficult task to be sure with patients that almost inevitably have “control” issues.
The strongest evidence for DBT as a useful treatment is for individuals with borderline personality disorder.
4 behavioral components
Mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills therapy usually raise less questions than “distress tolerance” skills therapy.
DBT distress tolerance skills work on the tendency of some patients to experience negative emotions as unbearable and overwhelming. People with a low threshold for things not going their way (i.e. people with control issues) can become overwhelmed when faced with mild levels of usual and customary day-to-day stress, and sometimes react with not very well thought-out behaviors.
Dialectical behavioral therapy allows guests to be in control of their actions and reactions, in a well thought-out and understanding way. DBT offers up multiple perspectives and many different ways to look at one single situation, which is especially helpful for those in early recovery.
Pottash ALC, Jonas JM, Gold MS, Cocores JA, Phenomenological Link Between Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders. Society For Neuroscience 1986.
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