What is DBT?
DBT is a form cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) that Marsha Linehan developed over thirty years ago to help people who have extreme difficulty managing their emotions, especially those with self-injury and suicidal behaviors. These individuals often receive a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD). CBT is a particular kind of therapy that involves the application of findings from psychology research to help individuals change in ways they would like to change. The procedures used in CBT are generally intended to improve the individual's well-being and quality of life by expanding the person's skills, abilities, and independence. Numerous research studies have found evidence for the effectiveness of standard DBT, which is a combination of both DBT individual therapy and DBT skills training.
DBT is designed to help emotion regulation difficulties such as the following:
- Painful emotions that are experienced as intolerable
- Quickly shifting between different emotions and moods
- Feeling controlled by your emotions
- Intense self-hatred and shame
- Prone to irritability and anger
DBT also addresses other difficulties:
- Relationships difficulties
- Intense fears of abandonment and sensitivity to criticism
- A profound sense of emptiness or emotional numbness
- Self-defeating behaviors that are impulsive or destructive
- DBT Skills
- Secondary targets
- Quality of life behaviors
- Build confidence
- Build motivation to create “a life worth living”
- To reach the ultimate goal of DBT-creating a life worth living-the therapy balances empathy and warm acceptance (validation) with an unwavering focus on changing problem behavior (problem-solving). Through this balance, DBT aims to help change the behavioral, emotional, and thinking patterns associated with problems in living, while promoting the development of and reliance on inner wisdom (wise mind).