I have mentioned DBT a time or two throughout this blog. But many of you may be asking, “What is DBT?” DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy and was developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Since about 1993, it has demonstrated effectiveness in everything from eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and what I always say was just missing from our 10th grade curriculum. When people talk about DBT, they are usually referring to a skills group, but it has an important individual therapy component as well.
Skills group targets four behaviors to improve: Core Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.
Core Mindfulness: Targets your judgments of yourself and others, assists in doing one thing in the moment, increased personal awareness, and doing things that will effectively help you achieve the outcome of your life goals.
Distress Tolerance: This is what I call “The Giant Toolbox of Coping Skills.” Distress Tolerance teaches a ton of coping skills, advocating to try different ones in different situations, build more positive experiences in your life, and be in the moment when using the skills.
Emotion Regulation: For those of you that feel that you have no control over your emotions, this section is for you. Emotion regulation teaches how to identify your emotions, value the function of your emotions, and focus on creating more positive emotions. It helps us understand our emotions so that we can understand and control our reaction to those emotions.
Interpersonal Effectiveness. This unit builds skill in relationship building, self-respect, and having your needs met, effectively.
DBT is a validating method of treatment and can be an effective option for those who have tried everything with little results or those that may want to take their treatment to the next level.