DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that tries to identify and alter thinking patterns to push for positive behavioral changes. DBT was originally created to treat borderline personality disorder, but DBT benefits a number of other mental health conditions as well. A DBT program that incorporates DBT techniques is a great treatment option for individuals that have multiple disorders too.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder that leads to emotional distress. Patients may have intense emotional outbursts, rapidly changing moods, or have extreme sensitivity to rejection (perceived or real).
DBT is a proven treatment option for borderline personality disorder. Essentially, it helps curb the thinking that leads to these emotional outbursts and teaches patients how to cope with emotions and situations that occur in daily life.
DBT has also been proven to help with substance abuse as it helps with impulsive behavior. For a lone diagnosis of substance abuse, DBT will likely not be entirely effective, but it will help. If substance abuse is diagnoses alongside another disorder, then DBT is very effective in helping both.
One of the main aspects of DBT is emotional regulation, which involves recognizing, labeling, and adjusting emotions. This is particularly difficult for people with mood disorders to do. While medication is still recommended to help regulate mood disorders, DBT is being looked into to help with this too.
People that suffer from eating disorders have a dangerous cycle of negative thoughts that result in negative harmful behavior. The DBT principles of mindfulness and distress tolerance can help aid with these. Psychiatrists are still looking into how DBT can help with eating disorders, especially binge eating, but the results are promising.
For those suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), BDT could be the answer. Doctors are still researching, but DBT may help those with PTSD focus on the present. It could also teach them how to deal with the emotional trauma and how to act accordingly.
Anxiety disorders have a tendency to drag people down a spiral. DBT can give people the skills to live in the present moment. It can teach them how to observe, label, and accept emotions without letting them consume them. Almost all of the skills that DBT focuses on are greatly beneficial to those with anxiety disorders.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy isn’t for everyone. Overall, it tends to aid high-risk, tough-to-treat individuals that have multiple diagnoses. But it’s a form of therapy that has grown in popularity because DBT benefits a number of individuals struggling with mental illness. Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist, or contact us, to see if DBT and DBT group therapy is right for 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.