Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that emphasizes psychotherapy and group skills training to help use those skills to make everyday life worth living. While originally for Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT is used to treat many mental illnesses like PTSD, self-harm, and addiction. DBT has been proven very effective in treating patients and in reducing suicide attempts.
DBT uses emotional regulation, interpersonal effect, mindfulness, and distress tolerance to help patients have a good life in the real world. Patients learn to apply what they learned in therapy at work, home, school, and in the community. Individualized behavioral treatment plans help reduce problematic behaviors that negatively affect a patient’s life. The treatment team has meetings for therapists to provide and receive support, clinical guidance, and training to better help their patients.
The goal of DBT is to ensure positive, adaptive behaviors in all settings of life. Patients attend therapy and skills training groups every week as well as developing behavioral skills through group work and homework to practice learned skills. Phone coaching lets those in treatment to reach their therapist for support when a challenging situation occurs.
DBT theory combines three theories. One of them is biosocial theory which explains how the issues of Borderline Personality Disorder occurs and that some are born with emotional vulnerability. Because the environment lacks a solid structure and stability, negative emotional responses intensify and influences destructive interaction patterns like harming relationships and suicidal behavior. Another theory is Zen Buddhism where here-and-now presence of mind is used to help objectively and calmly assess situations by evaluating the facts and focusing on one thing at a time. Dialectic theory helps the patient accept the parts of themselves that they do not like and provides motivation and encouragement to address changing these parts.
The first stage of DBT is helping patients achieve control over their problematic behaviors by dealing with suicidal thoughts, addiction, self-harm in moments when they feel they are at an all time low. The second stage is where behaviors are most stable. Emotional pain is brought to the surface and traumatic experiences are explored. The goal is to fully experience emotional pain instead of ignoring it. The third stage is enhancing a patient’s quality of life through maintaining progress and goals to promote happiness and stability. The fourth stage is to help achieve and maintain the ongoing capacity of happiness and success.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centers in the UK. Castle Craig offer several specialised psychotherapy sessions for anxiety treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma (PTSD) Therapy, and Grief Therapy. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020