Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a therapeutic treatment that consists of weekly individual therapy, skills training group work, and phone consultation. It can help a variety of people who are going through challenging times in their lives by:
- Improving your quality of life by learning and applying strategies that increase your ability to stay in control of your emotions.
- Teaching you how to handle and manage disappointment and frustration.
- Helping you learn how to interact with people in a way that helps you create and maintain healthy relationships.
This therapy is designed to assist people who have regular suicidal or self-harming behaviors or thoughts that seriously interfere with their ability to manage life’s stress without becoming overwhelmed. Many people with these behaviors meet criteria for a disorder called borderline personality (BPD). It is not unusual for individuals diagnosed with BPD to also struggle with other problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, eating disorders, or alcohol and drug problems.
Individual DBT therapy is more structured than other types of therapy. It is specifically designed to help people identify behaviors that have been problematic and develop strategies and new skills to better handle life. Home assignments are often given, as well.
Part of DBT is attending a weekly skills class that covers interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, core mindfulness, and emotional regulation. These modules help to tech concrete skills that can be used to handle emotions better, deal more effectively with people, and learn to cope with difficult situations.
Participants in DBT will be encouraged to contact their therapists by phone between sessions for coaching on how to best use their newly acquired DBT skills in handling problems as they come up. Agreements will be made between each therapist and client as to the frequency and length of calls.