Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy specifically designed in the 1980s for people with a borderline personality disorder. However, since then, it has become a therapy used to create many lasting changes in people’s lives – even those who aren’t dealing with personality disorders.
DBT is an interesting approach because it uses opposing forces to be effective. It focuses on allowing acceptance while encouraging behavioral changes.
Though these two techniques seem to clash, this therapy allows them to work together in an extremely effective, life-changing way.
So, how does DBT really work, and what can it do for you?
Understanding the Key Concepts
There are four modules of DBT that work against each other to be effective. The first two focus on acceptance, while the other two address changes to your behaviors. These modules are:
- Mindfulness – Mindfulness allows you to observe your own thoughts without any agenda or judgment. It is one of the best ways to accept yourself and what you’re thinking and feeling. That’s why it’s often where DBT gets started.
- Distress tolerance – This module allows you to accept any emotional pain you might be dealing with. Rather than focusing on “getting rid of it” immediately, letting go of what you think you should do and accepting your emotions is important.
- Emotional regulation – Once you work through your emotions, you can find ways to regulate them. During this stage, a therapist will help you develop skills to cope more effectively when you feel strong emotions.
- Interpersonal effectiveness – This module helps you communicate more effectively with the people in your life. It can help you become more assertive in expressing your needs and emotions and encourage you to set boundaries in your life so you don’t fall into old thinking patterns.
As you can see, DBT is a process. But that’s exactly what makes it so effective when it comes to lasting change in your life.
What Are the Benefits?
So, what can you expect when you go through that process? There are many benefits to DBT, and it can help with various issues, including depression.
One benefit of DBT is that it teaches you skills you can take with you outside of therapy. The goal isn’t to simply “fix” a problem. DBT works as a long-term solution to change certain behaviors. For example, mindfulness has become a common practice for people all over the world. It’s used to de-stress, to focus on the moment, and to deal with everyday anxieties. When you learn how to harness that skill in DBT, you’ll have it with you for a lifetime.
Another benefit is how it can improve your relationships. DBT will help you build healthier relationships, set boundaries, and communicate more effectively with those around you. Again, that’s a lasting skill that you’ll use throughout your life to have healthier relationships.
How DBT Improves Your Life for Good
The biggest benefit of DBT is that it can, indeed, create lasting change in your life. When you learn to accept your challenges for what they are, you stop fighting against them. That instantly helps to alleviate a lot of stress, tension, and discord within your mind.
The combination of acceptance and behavioral changes allows you to move forward in life long after your DBT sessions are over.
If you’ve tried therapy before and you’re still struggling, DBT could be the best option. If you want to learn more about DBT and whether it’s right for you, please contact us for more information.