Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a unique, specialized form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was originally developed to treat adults who were chronically suicidal, self-injuring, and exhibiting symptoms of borderline personality disorder. DBT is officially recognized by the Cochrane Review (Stouffer et al. (2012)) as the treatment of choice for characteristics associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD) including impulsivity, interpersonal problems, emotional dysregulation, self-harm, and suicidal behaviors. Over time, the application of DBT has been proven effective in treating a wide range of emotional difficulties, including depression, anxiety, substance use problems and eating disorders.
DBT balances the use of change techniques from cognitive-behavior therapy with acceptance strategies from Zen practice. Clients learn cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness skills to better identify and manage their emotions. They then practice applying those skills to better tolerate life events and improve their ability to interact effectively with others.
My clients often experience:
Problems with anger
Frequent mood swings
Intense fears of abandonment
Inadequate sense of self
Recurrent suicidal or self-injurious behavio
Family problems or conflicts
Anxiety or depression
As a comprehensive treatment, DBT has the following goals:
Decreasing life-threatening (e.g., suicidal attempts, suicidal threats, suicidal thoughts) and self-injurious behavior
Decreasing therapy-interfering behaviors (e.g., missing or coming late to sessions, remaining silent in sessions)
Decreasing quality-of-life interfering behaviors (e.g., fighting with people, substance abuse, trouble in school or work)
Increasing coping skills (e.g., learning to deal with conflict, learning to cope with painful emotions, improving positive self-care)