At least 135 million people worldwide will suffer from severe problems with emotion regulation in their lifetime.

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One of the most effective methods of treating emotion dysregulation is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

DBT is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that was first developed by the American Psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan, for the treatment of patients suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Definition

The term dialecticalrelates to open-minded thinking. It's the ability to view issues from different perspectives.

For example, when two people hold opposing points of view on a subject, both their ideas can be valid and true at the same time.

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Behavioralrefers to the treatment approach taken in DBT. It requires you to learn new behaviors that can improve your life and relationships.

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In DBT, the main idea is to help you find balance between two opposites: Acceptance and Change.Byte Author Uploaded Image

Who Is It Designed To Help?

It was originally designed to treat patients suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder but it has since been adapted to treat several other clinical disorders related to anxiety, mood, eating, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self harming and suicidal behaviors.

DBT teaches you new skills to manage painful emotions and reduce conflict in relationships.

The goal is to help you build a life that you feel is worth living.

Modified DBT programs meet the needs of the non-clinical general population. Specifically, the DBT skills training module addresses a range of behaviors in adolescents and young adults.Flaticon Icon

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Quiz

"DBT teaches you to...?"

Regulate your emotions

Help others

Only care about your needs

Fix all your problems

What Does It Involve?

Byte Author Uploaded ImageThe entire DBT treatment usually takes 1 year to complete.

Individual Therapy

In this setting, you meet one on one with a therapist weekly to:

  • Focus on identifying and accepting problem areas and destructive behavior patterns

  • Learn new skills to handle emotions betterFlaticon Icon

Group Therapy

This is a weekly group session to improve emotion regulation and behavior in a social context.

The skills training focuses on 4 key areas:

  • Mindfulness

  • Distress tolerance

  • Emotion regulation

  • Interpersonal effectivenessFlaticon Icon

In The Moment Coaching

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  • The goal here is to provide you with support as you need it, while going about your daily life.

  • The therapist coaches through phone calls to address any concerns or challenges. This helps to practice the new skills that you learn in DBT.

Summary

Ask yourself if any of the following statements apply to you:

  • Your moods change quickly and it usually takes a long time for you to “get over” things

  • People refer to you as being “too sensitive”

  • Your emotions get too intense and you behave erratically

  • Indulge in reckless or harmful actions like binging or purging foods, abusing drugs and alcohol, self-harming, risky sexual behavior or spending money excessively

  • Problems controlling anger

  • Your relationships are full of conflict

If they do, then DBT may be the right treatment for you to feel better and lead a more fulfilling life.Flaticon Icon

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This Byte has been authored by

CK

Chitra Krishnan

Lifelong Learner