Dialectical behavioral therapy or DBT is an evidence-based, comprehensive therapy derived from cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. It was developed by Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., in the 1980s to help patients cope with painful emotions. The therapy provides clients with specific therapeutic skills and was initially intended to treat borderline personality disorder. By focusing on the psychosocial aspects of treatment, DBT has been shown to be helpful to anyone struggling with a wide range of mental illnesses and addictions. Components of DBT include individual psychotherapy sessions and DBT skills training groups, facilitated by a trained therapist that ensures all essential elements are addressed during the meetings.
The primary goal of DBT is to help clients discover a life worth living. This is accomplished by identifying harmful, unhealthy behaviors and replacing them with actions that are both positive and life-enhancing. Clients learn acceptance-based strategies and problem-solving skills that will help them to achieve these goals no matter what life situations might arise.
When it was first developed, DBT was primarily used as a treatment for bipolar disorder and for individuals that were chronically suicidal. While it continues to be the first choice in treatment modalities for these clients, it has also been shown to be helpful to anyone experiencing the following mental health concerns and disorders:
To help clients manage the symptoms of these conditions, DBT teaches specific behavioral skills such as regulation of emotions, mindfulness, tolerance of distress and effectiveness in interpersonal communication and relationships.
The behavioral skills learned through DBT offer a myriad of benefits:
To achieve the goals of DBT, the therapy will include a variety of components to ensure a comprehensive therapeutic approach:
The therapy takes place through a collection of individual and group therapy sessions as a part of our IOP services at Avalon Integrative Wellness.
DBT is a service provided through the IOP at Avalon Integrative Wellness. Our team of professionals will design your program to include DBT if appropriate, as well as other therapies to ensure your treatment is both comprehensive and successful. To learn more about DBT, our IOP or any of the other services we provide, contact Avalon Integrative Wellness today at 888-266-9048.