Learning About DBT


Have you ever heard of DBT?

DBT is short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidence-based therapy that integrates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Eastern mindfulness practices. DBT is proven effective in helping people develop coping skills, reduce self-harm behaviors and improve negative patterns of thinking. It is validating and empowering as it helps people learn and apply skills to manage strong emotions and urges.

DBT encompasses four modules of therapy:

  1. Mindfulness –
    Mindfulness is about your awareness and quieting your mind. The use of mindfulness is important in the application of DBT skills because learning to observe and describe emotions without judgment is a fundamental skill on which the others are constructed.

  2. Distress Tolerance –
    This module teaches positive, healthy ways to accept and cope with distressing emotions and crises without engaging in self-destructive or self-harm behaviors.

  3. Emotion Regulation –
    Emotion Regulation teaches healthy strategies to balance emotions and reduce emotional vulnerability by understanding and accepting your emotional experience. It provides a toolbox of skills to help manage impulses and increase positive emotions.

  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness –
    The focus of this module is on learning to appropriately ask for what you want or say no in relationships. This helps reduce conflict in and more effectively build and maintain healthy relationships, all while preserving self-respect.

DBT also emphasizes three main dialectical dilemmas that many people face, including:

  1. Emotional Vulnerability vs. Self-Invalidation -
    The tendency to swing between extreme sensitivity to emotion OR invalidating or stuffing them down.

  2. Active Passivity vs. Apparent Competence -
    Demanding that others solve/handle issues (acting helpless) OR skillfully handling problems yourself

  3. Unrelenting Crisis vs. Inhibited Grieving -
    Ongoing, repeated stressors that lead to intense emotions and the use of negative coping skills (self harm, suicidal thoughts or urges, eating disordered behaviors, substance use, etc) OR stuffing feelings down in order to frantically avoid painful emotions. 

The main goals of DBT skills therapy are safety, learning useful coping skills, and creating a life worth living. DBT helps us become mindful about our emotions, develop healthy relationships, and find balance in our lives. It’s a super beneficial practice that introduces skills to help us achieve self-improvement. Then, we can apply the skills to our daily lives in order to deal with our emotions effectively. Want to learn more about DBT? Visit: https://www.mindsoother.com/what-is-dbt