What is DBT?

 

Following my recent qualification I offer DBT informed treatment, currently I am not in a consultation team.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was originally developed by Marsha Linehan to treat individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. However research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other severe and enduring disorders such as recurrent depression, eating disorders and complex PTSD. DBT is also effective in reducing non-suicidal self-injury, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout and improving social and global functioning.

 

What is dialectical method? 

Dialectics means an integration of different points of view or establishing the truth through synthesis. The primary dialectic within DBT is between the seemingly opposite strategies of acceptance and change. For example, DBT therapists accept clients as they are while also acknowledging that they need to change in order to reach their goals.

DBT treatment targets

Clients who receive DBT typically have multiple problems that require treatment. DBT uses a hierarchy of treatment targets to help the therapist determine the order in which problems should be addressed.

The treatment targets in order of priority are:

Life-threatening behaviors: First and foremost priority is to deal with behaviors engaged in for the purpose of causing bodily harm, or those that can potentially lead to such harm.

Therapy-interfering behaviors: This includes any behavior that interferes with the client receiving effective treatment. These behaviors can be on the part of the client and/or the therapist, such as coming late to sessions and being non-collaborative in working towards treatment goals.

Quality of life behaviors: This category includes any other type of behavior that interferes with clients having a reasonable quality of life, such as mental disorders, relationship problems or financial crises.

Skills acquisition: This refers to the need for clients to learn new skillful behaviors to replace ineffective behaviors and help them achieve their goals.

DBT skills

Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions