Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. DBT is utilized to teach people how to live in the moment, cope healthily with stress, regulate emotions, and improve relationships. DBT was initially developed to treat borderline personality disorder. However, DBT has also been successful for people struggling with depression, bulimia, binge-eating, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and more.
As its name suggests, DBT is influenced by the philosophical perspective of dialectics: balancing opposites. DBT helps you to change unhelpful behaviors, but it differs from CBT in that it also focuses on accepting who you are at the same time. Our DBT Skills Groups teach four to five main modules: Core mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, & Walking the Middle Path (Teen Group).
Our goal in skills groups, are to teach clients and/or their families to regulation emotions and behaviors, reduce problem behaviors and increase helpful behaviors, experience a wide range of emotions without acting on them, and improve relationships with family, school, and peers. We want to help you build a life that is worth living.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN DBT SKILLS GROUP
We will cover these primary areas, in 16-24 weeks, on a weekly basis. Clients are encouraged to complete two rounds of DBT skills group.
Core Mindfulness: Mindfulness is present moment awareness (e.g., emotions, thoughts, physical sensations) without judgement. It is being aware of things that you are experiencing in the present moment, instead of focusing on the past or future. It is allowing you to take control of your mind, rather than allowing it to take control of you.
Distress Tolerance: Distress tolerance skills help clients tolerate difficult situations and emotional distress when their problems can’t be solved right away. The first portion will focus on crisis survival skills and will address distraction, self-soothing, improve the moment, pros and cons, and using the body’s chemistry to reduce extreme emotions. The second portion will focus on radical acceptance and willingness to learn how to accept painful situations that cannot be changed, rather than avoidance or challenging the situations.
Emotion Regulation: Emotional regulation skills help address the biological vulnerability to emotion dysregulation described with DBT. The goal is to minimize emotional vulnerability and reactivity and help recover more quickly from extreme mood states.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Interpersonal Effectiveness goals are to keep and maintain healthy relationships, get someone to do what you want or saying “no” to someone’s request, and keeping self-respect.
Walking The Middle Path (teen group only): Walking the middle path was specifically development for teens and families. It addresses distorted, black and white thinking and behavioral patterns experienced by families and emotionally dysregulated teens. It focuses on greater use of validation and behavioral planning with parents.
Clients are required to see a DBT informed or trained therapist while in DBT skills group. Please contact our office for more details about our upcoming Adolescent & Adult DBT Groups.
We look forward to helping you create a life worth living.