Marsha M. Linehan developed DBT in the 1990s to treat chronically suicidal and self-injurious individuals who she viewed as having pervasive emotion dysregulation or significant difficulty regulating their emotions. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a specialized form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that balances acceptance and change. Cognitive Behavioral change strategies are blended with Eastern practices including mindfulness and meditation. The ability to apply DBT skills to other problems has broadened and has now been proven effective to treat a wide range of issues.
Who benefits from DBT therapy?
DBT was originally designed to treat individuals who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder and experienced intense negative emotions, self-injury and chronic suicidal behaviors. However, it has since been modifed and adapted to treat a variety of difficulties that involve regulating emotions, including gambling, binge eating, chemical or substance dependence, behavioral addictions and depression.
How is DBT practiced?
The DBT therapist helps clients learn to accept themselves while also teaching them skills to help change problem behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. The therapist strives to help the client understand that her/hia responses are both functional and dysfunctional, valid and invalid.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is proven in clinical research to help people with the following problems:
- Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD
- Suicidal adolescents
- Depression among older adults and seniors
- Substance abuse and addictions (i.e., alcohol, stimulants, opiates, sex, internet, video games, etc.)
- Implusive and compulsive behaviors (i.e., high-risk sex, shoplifting, gambling etc.)
- Suicidal behavior
- Self-injurious behavior
- Intense emotions (i.e. sadness, anger, fear)
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships
Learn more about DBT Therapy here.