What Is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy & How Can It Help?

Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) was initially developed to treat borderline personality disorder but is now used to treat various issues. It combines cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) with mindfulness techniques to help individuals learn how to regulate their emotions, tolerate distress, improve interpersonal relationships, and develop a sense of mastery in their lives.

Who Can Benefit from DBT

While DBT was initially designed for individuals with BPD, its effectiveness has been recognized in treating a range of conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Substance Abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-Harm Behaviours

DBT can benefit anyone struggling with emotional dysregulation and difficulties in interpersonal relationships.

How Does DBT Work?

DBT encompasses four primary components: individual therapy, group skills training, phone coaching, and consultation team meetings. Individual therapy allows for personalized treatment, while group skills training helps individuals learn practical coping strategies and interpersonal skills. Phone coaching offers support outside therapy sessions, and consultation team meetings provide guidance and support to therapists who deliver DBT.

Core Components of DBT

The core components of dialectical behavioural therapy are:

  • Acceptance Strategies: (validation, mindfulness, and radical acceptance)
  • Change Strategies: (skills, behaviourism, contingency management, dialectical strategies)
  • Communication Styles: (reciprocal and irreverent)

These components are typically provided through individual therapy sessions or group therapy sessions. Homework assignments are common. Approaches will vary depending on the individual and their needs.

Who Can Benefit from DBT?

DBT can assist individuals who struggle with various mental health disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), eating disorders, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Does DBT Differ From Other Therapies?

DBT stands out from other therapies because it focuses on acceptance and change. It acknowledges that individuals may need acceptance for who they are while simultaneously encouraging them to develop new skills and behaviours. Additionally, DBT emphasizes the therapeutic relationship, and therapists use validation techniques to build trust and promote growth.

Can DBT be Effective in a Group Setting?

Yes, DBT can be highly effective in a group setting such as couples counselling or family therapy. Group skills training allows individuals to learn from each other’s experiences and practice new skills in a supportive environment. It fosters a sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation, as participants realize they are not alone in their struggles.

How Long Does DBT Take

The length of DBT treatment can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. DBT treatment generally lasts for at least six months to a year and may include a combination of individual therapy sessions and independent work. However, some people may continue to participate in DBT treatment for longer periods of time. The length of DBT treatment can also depend on other factors, such as the individual’s specific goals and the frequency of therapy sessions.

Steyaert Counselling’s Approach to DBT

Finding a qualified DBT therapist and committing to the treatment process can be essential to a more balanced and fulfilling life. If you believe DBT therapy is right for you, discuss an individual treatment plan with your therapist or a mental health professional. If you do not have a therapist, you can speak with Hannah at our London office or Hailey at our Burlington office today.

DBT Therapy In London, Ontario

Hannah is certified as a Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Professional (C-DBT) and has coached several customers with DBT therapy. Don’t hesitate to contact her office in East London, Ontario, for more information.

DBT Therapy in Burlington, Ontario

Hailey has utilized DBT therapy in her work with dozens of client therapy sessions. Don’t hesitate to contact her office in Central Burlington, Ontario, for more information.

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