What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an empirically-supported model of treatment that utilizes some of the skills from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and incorporates methodologies from various other practices, including Eastern mindfulness techniques. The overall goal of DBT is to help individuals learn to regulate their emotions in healthier ways. To accomplish this, they are taught how to effectively communicate their needs, express and manage distress, and think about situations in new ways.  DBT is designed to target a variety of behaviors, including:

  • low self-esteem
  • poor impulse control
  • self-harm behaviors
  • difficulty managing emotions
  • conflict at home
  • high-risk behaviors
  • eating disorders
  • low frustration tolerance
  • frequent lying

What does DBT teach?

Mindfulness – Learning and practicing effective management of thoughts and feelings

Interpersonal Effectiveness – Communicating effectively and coping with conflict while maintaining relationships and self-respect

Emotion Regulation – Identifying and understanding where painful emotions come from and how to manage them

Distress Tolerance – Tolerating pain and distress skillfully, without engaging in maladaptive behaviors to cope

Walking the Middle Path – Resolving conflict and problem solving common parent-teen dilemmas by balancing acceptance and change-based approaches

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