What Dialectical Behavior Therapy Is And How It Can Save Your Life

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an evidence-based treatment for those who struggle with chronic suicidal ideation, self-harm and extreme emotions. Combining Eastern mindfulness techniques with cognitive-behavioral methods, this unique and comprehensive treatment has been proven especially effective for highly vulnerable populations.

Do you feel like regular talk therapy falls short of dealing with the problems in your life? If you have a history of problems with self-harm, suicidal ideation, chronic suicide attempts or extreme and overwhelming emotions, you may want to consider speaking to a counselor about Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan in the 1970’s as a way to treat suicidal patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT adapts certain aspects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to better suit clients with chronic suicidal thoughts or Borderline Personality Disorder.

DBT usually includes a combination of group therapy sessions (also known as “DBT Skills Groups”) along with individual psychotherapy sessions and a therapy consultation team that works together to best serve the needs of the client.

The Origins of DBT, Borderline Personality Disorder and Suicide

When Linehan realized that the standard CBT treatment was too focused on change and came across as invalidating to intensely distressed patients, she created DBT as a way to foster acceptance-based coping skills and techniques so her clients could feel validated prior to making life changes.

This was especially important for clients with Borderline Personality Disorder, a disorder which has been theorized to stem from childhood trauma and an emotionally invalidating environment. Individuals who have grown up chronically invalidated in toxic households or have a history of abusive relationships can potentially benefit from this treatment.

DBT is not only an evidence-based treatment for those with BPD, it has also been proven by research to be effective for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse problems, eating disorders and depression.

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