DBT- DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY

Thrive Psychology Group - Los Angeles

OVERVIEW

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) treatment is a type of talk therapy that utilizes a cognitive-behavioral approach at it roots, but emphasizes psychosocial aspects of treatment. It was developed in the 1980s for borderline personality disorder but has since been found effective to treat a broader range of issues. The theory behind DBT is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward emotional situations, especially in romantic, family and friend relationships contexts. DBT suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s, attain a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take significantly longer to return to baseline arousal levels.

WHAT IS DBT USED FOR?

CBT has been adapted for a range of challenges including impulsive behavior, mood stabilization, improvement of self-image, decreasing negative thinking, mood disorders, binge eating, ADHD and PTSD. It is also used as a treatment for reducing impulsive behavior including substance abuse, risky sexual patterns, self injury, and repeated life crises like legal troubles.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBT?

DBT focuses around four ways to enhance life skills. The benefits are often substantial and long term.

  • Distress tolerance: Feeling intense emotions like anger without reacting impulsively or using self-injury or substance abuse to dampen distress.

  • Emotion regulation: Recognizing, labeling, and adjusting emotions.

  • Mindfulness: Becoming more aware of self and others and attentive to the present moment.

  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Navigating conflict and interacting assertively.

HOW DOES CBT WORK?

DBT offers a commonsense, multistage approach:

  • Stage 1: Treats the most self-destructive behavior

  • Stage 2: Begins to address quality-of-life skills, such as emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

  • Stage 3: Focuses on improved relationships and self-esteem.

  • Stage 4: Promotes more joy and relationship connection.

RESULTS

DBT is one of several evidence-based treatments that research has shown to be effective in reducing anger, depression, suicidal behavior, non-suicidal self-injury, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout, substance use, and improving social and global functioning.