Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) works to help patients change patterns of behavior that might be holding them back. Originally created to treat Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) it has since been adopted to work for mood disorders, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, as well as substance abuse, eating disorders, traumatic brain injuries, and sexual abuse survivors.
DBT teaches patients a variety of skills that help them with emotion regulation. It largely focuses on distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness. In an intensive form of therapy that utilizes both one-on-one sessions with a therapist and group sessions.
There are a lot of skills taught during DBT. It can be hard for patients, especially early on, to remember all of them but thankfully DBT uses acronyms to help with this. Here are the most commonly used ones.
DBT teaches distress tolerance to help people deal with the tough moments life hurls at them. One way is to distract themselves with ACCEPTS:
Another distress tolerance activity, IMPROVE is used to help patients relax in a moment of distress.
This acronym is associated with the emotional regulation portion of DBT. This skill focuses on maintaining a healthy body so that one is more likely to have healthy emotions.
Interpersonal effectiveness is another element of DBT. This skill acronym is used to help people effectively get something they want.
This skill is used to aid people in maintaining relationships, whether that be with friends, co-workers, family, or romantic partners.
FAST is a skill set used to help patients in maintaining self-respect. It’s often used in combination with other skills.
If you’re interested in DBT, contact us today to discuss options.
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.