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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is an effective treatment modality for individuals who have difficulty regulating intense emotions and managing relationships.   

"Dialectics" in DBT is acknowledging life is difficult and that their is a balance between two opposing forces. The main dialectic being acceptance versus change. 

Acceptance of self and experiences, while working on making adaptive changes toward effective behaviors. 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) offers individuals comprehensive skills to manage painful memories and emotions and decrease conflicts in their relationships. This modality focuses on 4 specific areas of therapeutic skills. These are:

  • Mindfulness – Helps individuals be present in the current moment.
  • Distress tolerance – Most people try and keep themselves safe from all negative emotions. Distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotions.
  • Emotion regulation – Offers strategies to manage intense emotions that are the root cause of problems in a person’s life. 
  • Interpersonal effectiveness – These techniques allow an individual to communicate with others in a confident, assertive way that maintains self-respect and strengthens relationships.

How Does it Work Exactly?

Living with OCD and Anxiety disorders can cause a constant stream of uncontrollable negative emotions right under our awareness. These emotions affect how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with other people, including friends, romantic partners, and family members.

 DBT along with other modalities can help individuals manage their negative emotions so they can feel balanced, in control, and able to interact effectively and successfully.