a person asks a therapist what is dbt?

What Is DBT?

a person asks a therapist what is dbt?

If you’ve been struggling with addiction or mental health symptoms, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) could be a beacon of hope. This transformative therapy may provide the skills you need to build a better future. But, what is DBT?

QuickSilver Counseling Center in New Jersey welcomes you to explore the depths of this therapeutic technique that has proven to be beneficial for many struggling with emotional dysregulation and other mental health challenges. Call 888.477.8941 to get started.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan. The primary goal of DBT is to help individuals develop new skills and strategies to manage painful emotions and reduce conflict in relationships. DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality testing with concepts of mindfulness and acceptance derived from Buddhist meditative practice.

What Is DBT? A Focus on Four Components

This therapeutic approach is distinguished by its structure and its emphasis on balance. It comprises four main components:

Mindfulness – Living in the Moment

At its core, DBT emphasizes the practice of mindfulness—the ability to be fully present and aware in the moment. The goal is to help individuals reduce judgment and emotional reactivity, allowing them to act with thoughtfulness and care rather than impulsivity.

Mindfulness can be incorporated into daily life by setting aside a few minutes each day to engage in mindfulness exercises, such as observing your breath, body sensations, or the environment around you with a nonjudgmental attitude. Alternatively, you can practice mindfulness informally by fully engaging in whatever you are doing, whether it’s washing dishes, listening to a friend, or eating a meal.

Emotional Regulation – Understanding and Managing Emotions

DBT offers various techniques to help people understand and manage their emotions better. This begins with learning to accurately identify and label emotions, understand what triggers them, and observe how they manifest in the body.

To practice emotional regulation in everyday life, start a ‘mood journal’ where you jot down your emotions throughout the day, what caused them, and how you reacted. Over time, you’ll begin to see patterns and can strategize more effective ways of responding.

Distress Tolerance – Surviving Crisis Moments

DBT provides skills to tolerate and survive crises without resorting to destructive behaviors. This includes techniques like distraction, self-soothing, and improving the moment.

In daily life, you can practice distress tolerance by planning ahead for difficult situations. Consider strategies like having a self-soothing kit filled with things that calm and comfort you. This could include comforting music, a soft blanket, or scented candles. Another technique is to have a list of distraction activities ready for moments of acute distress, such as calling a friend, going for a walk, or engaging in a hobby.

Interpersonal Effectiveness – Building and Maintaining Relationships

Interpersonal effectiveness skills in DBT are all about assertiveness and maintaining healthy relationships. They involve learning to express needs and boundaries clearly, negotiate conflicts, and validate others’ feelings.

To integrate these skills into daily life, practice assertive communication in safe settings. You might also practice validation—recognizing and affirming the feelings of others—which can significantly improve the quality of your relationships.

These components work in concert to bring about the desired changes, using a balance of acceptance and change strategies. By learning and practicing these skills, individuals can achieve a greater sense of control over their emotions and behaviors, leading to a more balanced and satisfying life.

What Is DBT Therapy? Utilizing DBT in Mental Health Treatment

DBT was initially designed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental health condition characterized by unstable moods, self-image, behavior, and relationships. However, research over the years has shown that DBT is also effective in treating other mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance use disorders.

Patients undergoing this therapy have shown significant improvements in reducing self-harm and suicide attempts, decreasing anger and hospitalization for suicidal ideation, and improving social functioning.

Start the DBT Program at QuickSilver Counseling Center

At QuickSilver, we understand the complexities of mental health and the courage it takes to seek help. Our DBT program has been specially designed to address a wide range of mental health conditions, fostering emotional well-being and promoting lasting change. With an experienced team of compassionate professionals and a supportive environment, we are committed to helping you or your loved one navigate the healing journey.

Now that you know what DBT is, contact us today and discover the transformative power of this therapeutic approach at 888.477.8941.