Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, commonly known as DBT, is a therapeutic approach that has been empirically validated for its effectiveness in helping individuals cope with intense emotions and improve their overall mental well-being. Developed by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan in the 1990’s, DBT was initially designed to treat individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, its success has led to its application in a broader range of mental health challenges, making it a valuable resource for many.
What is DBT?
DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that emphasizes the development of emotion regulation skills, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. It combines elements of traditional CBT with elements of mindfulness and acceptance practices. A unique feature of DBT is that it’s rooted in dialectical philosophy, which explores the tension between seemingly opposite concepts to create balance and synthesis. In therapy, this means finding a balance between acceptance and change; between validation and accountability.
DBT is typically delivered through individual therapy sessions and skills training groups, making it a comprehensive approach to addressing emotional issues. Here's a breakdown of some of the key components:
How can DBT help you?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy offers a holistic approach to emotional wellness, providing individuals with practical skills and strategies to navigate life's challenges effectively. Whether you're dealing with a specific mental health condition or simply seeking to improve your emotional regulation and interpersonal skills, DBT can be a powerful tool on your journey to well-being and self-discovery.
DBT can be an invaluable resource for individuals facing a variety of mental health challenges
Borderline Personality Disorder: DBT is particularly effective in treating BPD, by helping individuals manage impulsivity, mood swings, and self-destructive behaviors.
Depression: DBT equips individuals with tools to combat depressive symptoms, reduce negative thinking patterns, and enhance emotional resilience.
Anxiety Disorders: By teaching mindfulness and distress tolerance skills, DBT can help individuals reduce anxiety and better cope with panic attacks or phobias.
Substance Abuse: DBT is often integrated into substance abuse treatment programs to address the emotional triggers and impulsivity associated with addiction.
Eating Disorders: DBT can assist individuals in managing intense emotions related to body image and food, promoting healthier eating habits.
Stress and General Well-Being: Even if you don't have a specific diagnosis, DBT can enhance your emotional intelligence, communication skills, and overall well-being, making it a valuable tool for personal growth.
At CWML, all of the licensed therapists on our team are intensively trained in DBT and we’re committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where you can learn and practice these life-changing skills. We understand that every individual's journey is unique, and we tailor our DBT therapy to your specific goals and needs. Our goal is to empower you to lead a life that is balanced, fulfilling, and meaningful, an approach to life we call Wise Mind Living. For some, this may mean meeting weekly for DBT-informed therapy, and for others it might mean entering our Comprehensive DBT program which includes weekly individual therapy, plus a 90-minute weekly DBT Skills Group and between-session coaching.