What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

a person asks a therapist what is dialectical behavior therapy

Starting an addiction or mental health treatment program can be difficult. It is often filled with a lot of unknowns, like what type of treatment will best help you achieve your goals. One evidence-based method used in treating addiction and mental health issues is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). But what is dialectical behavior therapy?

Northpoint Washington utilizes DBT as part of its comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment programs. Our programs are designed to provide each patient with the individualized care needed for long-term recovery. Learn more and get started today by calling 888.450.2153 today.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Its primary goals are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others.

DBT was initially developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder and suicidal tendencies. However, its application has since expanded to include treatment for a variety of mental and behavioral health conditions.

The Benefits of DBT

DBT offers an array of benefits, making it a popular choice among therapeutic interventions. Here are some key advantages:

  • Better emotional regulation – DBT helps individuals understand and manage their emotions effectively. It equips them with the tools to reduce emotional instability, thus promoting better mental health.
  • Improved interpersonal relationships – DBT teaches effective communication skills, leading to healthier relationships. It aids in reducing conflict and misunderstanding, fostering stronger bonds with others.
  • Stress management – Through mindfulness and distress tolerance skills, DBT helps individuals cope with stressful situations more effectively. It encourages a balanced perspective on problems, reducing anxiety and stress levels.
  • Reduced self-destructive behaviors – DBT can decrease the frequency and severity of self-harming behaviors. It fosters a more positive self-image and promotes safer coping strategies.

Engaging in DBT can help individuals with addiction and mental health issues to develop the skills needed for long-term recovery.

Who Does DBT Help?

While DBT was originally designed to help those with borderline personality disorder, it has proven effective for a wide range of mental health conditions. These include eating disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Moreover, DBT can also be beneficial for anyone struggling with emotional regulation or interpersonal issues, even if they do not have a diagnosed mental health condition.

What to Expect During DBT

Undergoing DBT generally involves both individual therapy sessions and group skills training classes.

In the individual therapy sessions, the therapist will work closely with you to address your specific struggles and concerns. The focus will be on applying the skills learned in the group sessions to your personal life.

Group skills training classes, on the other hand, are typically conducted in a classroom setting where the therapist teaches skills and assigns homework to practice them. These sessions cover four main modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with DBT may vary, depending on their unique circumstances and the specific approach of the therapist. However, the core principles of DBT—acceptance, change, and dialectics—remain the same.

Start DBT at Northpoint Washington Today

At Northpoint Washington, we believe in offering comprehensive treatment plans tailored to the individual needs of each patient. That’s why our programs include evidence-based methods like dialectical behavior therapy.

Our team of mental health professionals will work with you every step of the way to build a personalized treatment program and develop the skills needed for long-term recovery success. Call 888.450.2153 or complete our online form to get started today.