What is DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)?
If you have been recommended DBT by a therapist, doctor, friend or another professional; you may not be familiar with what it is. Let me tell you more about this method and how it can benefit you.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, DBT is short and sweet, was founded by Marsha Linehan PhD. Dr. Linehan was working with highly suicidal women and found that most of the therapy techniques of her day were not helpful to these women. Through some of her own research and an integration of several therapy techniques, she came up with DBT which originally included four modules: Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation and Core Mindfulness.
Dr. Linehan loves doing research and being that she works as a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, she put her new therapy technique to test. Amazingly she found the most challenging clients were not getting help and getting some relief from the painful lives.
Research shows that by just adding DBT skills component into a person’s treatment plan, there is marked improvement in reduction of symptoms.
DBT works well for any one that struggles with intense emotions, emotions that feel like they are always on a roller coaster, any one that experiences high sensitivity towards people or events around them, people that experience emotions very intensely and have an even more intense reaction.
DBT skills are also helpful for parents and families of loved ones that are dealing with the above issues. I have taught DBT classes to parents and family members and they find it to be very helpful in creating happier relationships at home.
DBT is an intensive treatment program with multiple layers. A person requiring DBT treatment would need an individual therapist, sometimes a psychiatrist, a DBT skills coach (like dbtclasses.com), possibly a family therapist, a dietitian or nutritionist if application. Each person’s team would be an individualized treatment plan.
DBT address hierarchy of needs that include life threatening behaviors, therapy destroying behaviors, life destroying behaviors and more.