Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an intense form of cognitive-behavioral group therapy. It was originally created to treat Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) but has since been adopted as a treatment method for a whole range of mental disorders. While you should always discuss treatment options with your psychiatrist, you may be wondering if DBT group therapy could help you. DBT isn’t for everyone, and how effective treatment options vary from person to person, but these are a few helpful questions to answer to determine if DBT would be a good fit for you.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy was originally created to treat BPD, but it has now been proven to be an effective treatment option for a range of mental conditions. Any disorder that causes unwanted behavior can benefit from this form of therapy. The following conditions may benefit from DBT:
DBT focuses a lot on teaching patients methods to change their problematic behavior. This could mean finding coping methods to stop self-harming behavior or it could mean learning how to appropriately respond to stressful events. If changing your behavior isn’t the main thing you want to get out of treatment, DBT might not be right for you.
Often, changing behavior might be something you want to accomplish, but you feel you need to focus on other things first. That’s okay! Many people find that DBT only benefits them if they join at the right time. When you feel altering your behavior is a priority, then that’s the time to consider DBT.
This form of therapy isn’t for the faint of heart. DBT requires a lot of hard work. If you decide to undertake DBT, be prepared to commit time and energy to it. An average course of DBT takes around 6 months to complete, with multiple sessions a week. DBT courses also typically assign homework to accompany the therapy sessions.
If you find you’re unable to commit the time needed to DBT or find it too rigid and demanding, it might not be the right treatment option for you. It’s okay if it’s not. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t put in the specific work that DBT requires, there are other treatment options out there!
Group therapy can be extremely helpful for some people, and extremely harmful t others. It’s not for everyone. Group therapy is a big part of DBT though. DBT courses have both individual sessions where patients get one of one time with a therapist and group sessions. During these group sessions, patients get a chance to practice the skills they’ve been learning. Unlike other forms of group therapy, DBT group doesn’t usually have patients sharing and discussing their problems. Instead, it’s more interactive and allows patients to practice their behavioral skills in a safe environment.
Group therapy isn’t for everyone though. For some people, the stress of doing therapy in front of others can be damaging. Group can also be quite triggering for some people. Before you undertake DBT, really explore whether or not you are comfortable with group sessions. It’s a vital component to DBT so it should be considered beforehand.
If after answering these questions you feel DBT would benefit you, begin discussing it with your psychiatrist. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want to learn more about dialectical behavior therapy. We look forward to hearing from you!
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.