Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)


What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of treatment that was initially developed by psychologist Dr. Marsha Linehan. It combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with principles from other modalities, such as mindfulness. The main goal of DBT is to help individuals create a life worth living by developing new skills and effectively managing emotions, behaviors, and relationships.

What does Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) involve?

The four primary components of DBT are:

  1. Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a central aspect of DBT and involves paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way. By practicing mindfulness, individuals learn to observe and accept their thoughts, emotions, and sensations without reacting impulsively or becoming overwhelmed.

  2. Emotion Regulation: Many individuals who seek DBT struggle with intense and fluctuating emotions. Emotion regulation skills aim to help individuals identify and label their emotions, understand the function of emotions, and learn healthy ways to manage and change emotional states.

  3. Distress Tolerance: This component focuses on helping individuals develop effective coping strategies to tolerate distressing situations without engaging in impulsive or harmful behaviours. It involves learning techniques such as self-soothing, distraction, and crisis survival skills.

  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Building and maintaining healthy relationships is an important part of overall well-being. Interpersonal effectiveness skills taught in DBT help individuals improve communication, assertiveness, and conflict resolution skills, while also setting boundaries and maintaining self-respect.

DBT Sessions within a private practice setting will not only focus on developing skills and understanding concepts within these four areas, but our therapists will also help clients to build an awareness of their own particular situations/emotions/behaviours and how they could use these skills effectively within these.

Who is DBT suitable for?

DBT was initially developed for clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, it’s scope has significantly widened and it has now been proven to be effective in treating various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, and many other disorders. It is particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with emotional dysregulation, impulsive or self-destructive behaviours, and difficulty managing relationships.

By integrating acceptance and change strategies, DBT helps individuals develop a balanced and effective approach to managing their emotions and behaviours. It provides practical tools and strategies to cope with distress, improve emotional well-being, and build more satisfying relationships, ultimately enabling individuals to lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives.