Does DBT for Anxiety Really Work?

There are many different types of treatments for anxiety. And, new treatments for anxiety are developed every year. But, one type of treatment for anxiety that’s tried and true for many individuals who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder is DBT. DBT for anxiety is a type of behavioral therapy that allows individuals living with anxiety disorders to better manage symptoms and adjust behaviors and mindsets in order to gain more control of anxiety. So, what is DBT for anxiety and what can a person expect from using this type of therapy for anxiety?

Identifying What Anxiety Is

Anxiety is an emotion that is evoked when a person experiences a dangerous or stressful situation. It’s a completely normal and healthy emotion that can actually keep people from getting involved in danger and help to promote safety. However, when a person experiences high levels of anxiety, this can be due to an anxiety disorder. High levels of anxiety can lead to debilitating mental and physical health symptoms that can negatively affect a person’s life.

People living with anxiety disorders often experience symptoms of extreme worry, panic, fear, and stress. These symptoms can appear out of the blue and aren’t typically the result of any anxiety-inducing situation. Rather, are a symptom of an anxiety disorder, which can be caused by a number of different things including traumatic experiences, injury/illness, imbalance hormones, and more.

Some examples of different anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Social Anxiety Disorder

What is DBT for Anxiety?

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. It’s a specific type of behavioral therapy that helps people living with anxiety recognize and deal with unwanted emotions that come about as the result of an anxiety disorder. The result of DBT is a better understanding of why one experiences negative emotions, how to adjust mindset and thought patterns, and how to change unhealthy behaviors. Overall, using DBT has the potential to improve the lives of people living with anxiety disorders as it can help them better manage the symptoms of these disorders.

Modules of DBT

There are specific aspects of DBT, known as modules, that are used in order for this method of therapy to be effective for people living with anxiety disorders. The four main modules of DBT for anxiety include:

Mindfulness: This is a skill that involves living in the present moment. Anxiety often consumes thoughts about the past and future. So, working to stay in the present moment can be a helpful tool for people living with anxiety disorders.

Distress Tolerance: Living through emotional distress can trigger anxiety, especially for people living with anxiety disorders. So, learning how to cope with these triggers can help people living with anxiety disorders so they can deal with emotional distress when this happens.

Emotional Regulation: Learning to regulate emotions is important for people who are living with anxiety disorders. DBT helps people with anxiety disorders understand better ways to cope and better regulate negative emotions – specifically, anxiety.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: This is learning the skillset of interacting with others in a social way. People who are living with anxiety disorders may experience issues with boundary setting, isolation, and social anxiety. So, this module can help to improve social awareness and interactions.

DBT for Anxiety at Delray Center for Healing

Are you dealing with heightened levels of anxiety? This may be due to an anxiety disorder. Delray Center for Healing offers outpatient therapy services, including DBT for anxiety. Find out more about our anxiety services and DBT program from our website.