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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy and How Does it Help?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was created as an outgrowth of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). DBT was first applied clinically by Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., at the University of Washington in the late 1980s. Dr. Linehan later founded Behavioral Tech LLC to continue her work with DBT and develop its applications for use by mental health professionals, patients, and their caregivers.


DTB teaches skills that can help people struggling with mental health issues such as borderline personality disorder or substance abuse disorders to control their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in more effective ways.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps people manage their emotional responses to difficult situations. It's designed for people who experience emotional extremes such as depression and anxiety, intense anger, or other emotional states that are hard to control. DBT was developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan in the 1980s.


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an intervention for reducing the frequency of suicidal behaviors, self-injurious behaviors, and substance use among individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It was developed by Marsha Linehan in the early 1980s. DBT has been found to be effective in reducing suicide attempts among people with BPD.

What are the Techniques in Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy is often used to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, or individuals who have an increased risk of suicide.


Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on skills for the individual to cope with difficult emotions, thoughts, and situations in their lives.


DBT teaches people skills like mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness to help them manage their symptoms.

These are all skills that can be used on an ongoing basis to help regulate your emotions and improve relationships.


1. Mindfulness helps you better focus on the present moment instead of being preoccupied with past or future events.


2. Distress tolerance allows you to accept the fact that some situations may not change, even if you don’t like them; these skills include distracting yourself by focusing on something else or planning for a more desirable outcome.

3. Emotional regulation teaches you to identify what type of emotion you are feeling and how best to cope with the feeling.

4. Interpersonal effectiveness helps you communicate clearly and resolve conflicts in healthy ways.


Overall, this therapy has proven effective in treating those with difficult-to-control behaviors as well as those dealing with trauma. In addition, it's been shown to increase positive emotions while reducing negative ones.

Image by Johannes Plenio
Image by Kevin Wolf

What Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Can Help With?

DBT can help people with a variety of mental health issues, including borderline personality disorder and depression.


DBT is also effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that combines cognitive behavioral therapy and Eastern philosophies.


The goal of dialectical behavioral therapy is to create balance between one's internal world (thoughts, feelings, memories) and the external world (actions). By learning how to regulate thoughts and emotions, we learn how to improve our quality of life in a lasting way.


Research has shown that dialectical behavior therapy provides significant improvement in symptoms associated with depression, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias and social anxiety. As well as significantly reducing the incidence of suicide attempts and self-injurious behaviors.

In conclusion , there are many people who could benefit from dialectical behavior therapy. If you have considered going into treatment, speak to your doctor about how DBT might be a good fit for your needs. There are different options available depending on what you need help with - medication, psychotherapy, support groups, etc. The key is to find out what will work best for you and how much time you want to commit before deciding which one is right for you.


You Don't Have to Go Through It Alone. Let's Work Together!

We’re here for you; we can help you get the right support you need to improve your chances of getting a better quality of life. 


You deserve a clear, calm, and healthy mind and we can help you achieve that. Call Blue Oak Counseling Services now to schedule a consultation.

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