What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
DBT therapy is a type of Behavior Therapy that incorporates aspects of a variety of psychotherapies, including Psychodynamic therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral techniques (CBT). It often utilizes daily self-monitoring with diary cards, identifying ineffective or self-destructive patterns and learning healthier coping strategies. Specific areas that might be addressed are:
Mindfulness Skills: How much conscious awareness do you bring to your daily life? How fully are you participating in your actions and choices? Practicing Mindfulness skills can help you notice your thoughts and feelings which is an essential step in reducing painful symptoms.
Emotion Regulation Skills: Do you manage your feelings effectively? Do you work to build positive experiences in your life? These skills help to prevent negative feelings from becoming overwhelming as well as encourages positive emotions to flourish.
Interpersonal Skills: Are you surrounded by healthy relationships? Are your relationships fair, mutually respectful and beneficial? How do you manage conflict when it arises? Interpersonal Effectiveness skills help to improve the relationships you have and how you feel about yourself when interacting with others.
Distress Tolerance Skills: How do you manage intense feelings in a crisis? Are you employing effective methods for managing intensity or do you engage in self-destructive habits (i.e. substance use, self-harm, disordered eating) to sooth yourself?
Walking the Middle Path: Do you tend to engage in "Black and White" thinking? Does extreme thinking also negatively affect how you see yourself or others? Working to experience the "gray" in situations rather than staying at the extremes in ourselves and others often helps to reduce painful emotions.