What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a skills-based therapy that helps individuals to increase self-compassion, learn to work with difficult emotions and live healthier, more stable lives. DBT clients learn to lead themselves through whatever difficulties life brings. This evidence-based therapy helps people to better understand their emotions and work with these emotions to feel more grounded in themselves, their relationships and at work. Our clients learn practical tools to become more emotionally regulated, to skillfully manage times of distress and to create longer lasting and deeper relationships.
Is DBT right for me?
DBT would be a very helpful therapy for people who struggle with:
- Overwhelming anger, anxiety, fear or sadness that interferes with life at home or at work
- Difficulty building and maintaining stable relationships
- Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, loneliness or fear of being alone
- Ruminating thoughts about the past and what you should have done
- Difficulty seeing the positive aspects of life
How will DBT help me?
Distress Tolerance skills help individuals to cope with painful events by introducing skills that will soften the effects of upsetting circumstances. Instead of learning to avoid stressful situations, DBT helps individuals to accept, find meaning for, and effectively work through difficult situations.
Mindfulness skills will help individuals to more fully appreciate the present moment while focusing less on painful experiences from the past or frightening possibilities in the future. Mindfulness gives individuals the tools to overcome recurrent, negative judgments about self and others.
Interpersonal Effectiveness skills give individuals tools to ask for what they need, set healthy boundaries, be assertive and cope with interpersonal conflict. It focuses on negotiating solutions to problems—all while protecting their relationships and treating others with respect.
Emotion Regulation skills help individuals to recognize more clearly what they feel with emphasis on observing each emotion without judgment. Participants learn to listen to their emotions and to soothe themselves into a calmer state of mind.
How effective is DBT?
DBT is a highly researched, evidence-based treatment. Research has shown DBT to be effective in reducing depression, anxiety, worthlessness, low self-esteem, anger, suicidal behavior, self-harm, psychiatric hospitalization, and improving social and global functioning.