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© 2018 by Michelle D. Roberts, Relational Trauma Recovery Center.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

(DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual's ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Fourth, interpersonal effectivenesconsists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.

 

DBT was originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to treat those with borderline personality disorder. However, research shows that DBT has also been used successfully to treat people with post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and other mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. DBT skills can help anyone who wants to improve their ability to regulate emotions, tolerate distress and negative emotions, be mindful and present in the given moment, and communicate and interact effectively with others.

Watch Dr. Marsha Linehan discuss how DBT can help you.