Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which focuses on self-acceptance and changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviour. DBT was initially designed for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) but has now expanded to treat a wide range of mental illnesses   

 

When is DBT used? 

  • ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder (mood disorder) 
  • Borderline Personality Disorder 
  • Suicide attempt/ideation 
  • OCD 
  • PTSD 
  • Major Depression Disorder 
  • Eating Disorders

 

Theory behind DBT:
DBT uses validation and dialectical thinking to change self-destructive thoughts and behaviours of those trying to cope with their distress. In DBT, we learn to understand that our thoughts and the way we act are valid and we should accept ourselves even in this aspect. Dialectical thinking means to use two opposing forces, to accept yet change our thoughts and behaviour. 

 

Techniques used in DBT:

  • Group therapy: learning behavioural skills through role playing 
  • Individual therapy: one on one with therapy between the client and the therapist
  • Phone calls: Occasion discussions on tips for coping 
  • Homework: listing emotions felt throughout the day, recording coping methods used

 

Skills taught in DBT

  • Core Mindfulness: Living in the present and focusing on the now. This helps slow down thoughts when overwhelmed and face situations without judgement. 
  • Distress tolerance: Acknowledging our inability to control situations. Switching mindset from “this isn’t fair!” to “this happened beyond my control, so let me see what i can do about it”. This shift in mindset improves how we deal with negative emotions and avoids self-destructive behaviours.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: We learn to be assertive, yet sensitive to those around us and let them know what we need clearly (e.g. time together, music). 
  • Emotion regulation: We can better identify and anticipate our intense emotions and explore ways to shape our behaviour and manage our emotions.

Small changes you can make today:

  • Instead of self-harm, try placing ice above the intended area to feel the similar numbing feeling, or talking to someone you are close to
  • Instead of substance abuse, try exercising or drinking tea to relax 
  • Try meditation and resting more when you feel agitated

 

You can also try out tips by Self-Help toons! 

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which focuses on self-acceptance and changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviour. DBT was initially designed for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) but has now expanded to treat a wide range of mental illnesses   

 

When is DBT used? 

  • ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder (mood disorder) 
  • Borderline Personality Disorder 
  • Suicide attempt/ideation 
  • OCD 
  • PTSD 
  • Major Depression Disorder 
  • Eating Disorders

 

Theory behind DBT:
DBT uses validation and dialectical thinking to change self-destructive thoughts and behaviours of those trying to cope with their distress. In DBT, we learn to understand that our thoughts and the way we act are valid and we should accept ourselves even in this aspect. Dialectical thinking means to use two opposing forces, to accept yet change our thoughts and behaviour. 

 

Techniques used in DBT:

  • Group therapy: learning behavioural skills through role playing 
  • Individual therapy: one on one with therapy between the client and the therapist
  • Phone calls: Occasion discussions on tips for coping 
  • Homework: listing emotions felt throughout the day, recording coping methods used

 

Skills taught in DBT

  • Core Mindfulness: Living in the present and focusing on the now. This helps slow down thoughts when overwhelmed and face situations without judgement. 
  • Distress tolerance: Acknowledging our inability to control situations. Switching mindset from “this isn’t fair!” to “this happened beyond my control, so let me see what i can do about it”. This shift in mindset improves how we deal with negative emotions and avoids self-destructive behaviours.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: We learn to be assertive, yet sensitive to those around us and let them know what we need clearly (e.g. time together, music). 
  • Emotion regulation: We can better identify and anticipate our intense emotions and explore ways to shape our behaviour and manage our emotions.

Small changes you can make today:

  • Instead of self-harm, try placing ice above the intended area to feel the similar numbing feeling, or talking to someone you are close to
  • Instead of substance abuse, try exercising or drinking tea to relax 
  • Try meditation and resting more when you feel agitated

 

You can also try out tips by Self-Help toons! 

Beyond this, clients may also be assigned homework such as joining or making a list of emotions they feel in a day.  

 

Skills Taught in DBT

To assure a continuing  productive and healthy outlook on life, we taught a number of important skills in DBT. 

 

Mindfulness: In DBT we are taught to live in the present and focus on the now. This can help slow down our racing thoughts when we happen to get overwhelmed.

 

Distress tolerance: With this skill we learn how to deal with negative emotions properly rather than turning to self destructive behaviours such as self harm.

 

Interpersonal effectiveness: It is important to know how to successfully navigate conflict while still maintaining healthy relationships. With this skill we learn how to be assertive but still understanding with those around us. 

 

Emotion regulation: Often we can feel overwhelmed by novel emotions and so it is important that we learn how to identify emotions and acquire the ability to change them.

 

Benefits of DBT 

Overall, DBT begins the very difficult process of acceptance  rather than constantly berating yourself for who you are. With DBT, we learn to accept what we cannot change and replace negative thoughts and behaviours to healthier ones. Although it is a big time commitment and not an easy fix, DBT has been proven to help people struggling with mental illness find healthier and more positive mindset. 

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Reach out to us at:

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hello@psychologyblossom.com

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