April 17, 2023
What is DBT Therapy and How Can It Help Me?
Written by Sara Lane
You have probably heard the term “talk therapy,” and maybe even attended talk therapy sessions before. But did you know that there are different types of talk therapy, and certain different types of talk therapy can be especially beneficial for different struggles?
One type of talk therapy is called DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), which is commonly used to treat:
DBT therapy, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, is an evidence-based treatment designed to help individuals develop skills to better regulate their emotions and improve their relationships with others. It combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness practices to help people identify and manage difficult emotions and behaviors.
In this article, we will explain more about what DBT therapy is and how it can benefit those who participate in it.
What Is DBT Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people with mental disorders improve their ability to manage their emotions and behaviors.
DBT is commonly used to treat patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), but it can also be used to treat other conditions such as depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders.
DBT therapy is based on the belief that people with mental disorders are capable of change and that they can learn the skills necessary to manage their emotions and behaviors.
The goal of DBT therapy is to help patients develop these skills so that they can live a more meaningful and satisfying life.
With the help of a trained therapist who specializes in DBT therapy, individuals can learn new ways to cope with stressors in their life and develop healthier relationships with themselves and others.
Who Is DBT Therapy For?
Are you wondering if DBT therapy is for you? DBT therapy can be used to address a wide range of mental health issues such as:
- BPD (borderline personality disorder),
- substance abuse,
- eating disorders,
- suicidal ideation,
- and more.
Even if you don’t deal with depression, anxiety, or another mental health issue, anyone can benefit from learning DBT skills. DBT skills prepare you to cope with stressful events in your life, and look at things with a more productive mindset.
Some clients who have depression or another mental health issue may find that they no longer need DBT therapy after learning these skills with a therapist. However, many people do not find relief until after a few months of regular practice with a therapist.
Due to the many benefits of DBT skills, therapists recommend using these in conjunction with other therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), or medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
Benefits of DBT Therapy
If you’ve heard of DBT therapy and it sounds like it might be a good fit for you, you might be wondering whether it actually has any benefits for those who engage in it.
Thankfully, evidence shows DBT therapy can provide many benefits for those struggling with mental health issues.
In fact, a 2014 study found that 77% of patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who completed one year of therapeutic DBT therapy no longer met the criteria for a BPD diagnosis.
So it’s clear that there are benefits to this type of therapy – but why does DBT work?
Why Does DBT Work?
It focuses on teaching skills that can help individuals regulate their emotions and manage difficult situations more effectively. Additionally, it encourages self-respect and acceptance by helping people recognize their strengths while also learning how to set healthy boundaries in relationships.
The skills learned through DBT help people to avoid unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. For example, someone who has an overwhelming fear of rejection might use avoidance strategies (like distancing themselves from others) that also make their situation worse. Even though these strategies are harmful, it is hard for the individual to stop them.
DBT teaches people to face these fears and develop alternative responses. The individual is encouraged to experiment with new ways of thinking about problems, rather than avoiding them or getting stuck in old patterns.
Overall, DBT therapy can be an effective way for individuals to gain insight into their thoughts and behaviors while learning new skills that can help them manage their mental health struggles more successfully.
How To Start DBT Therapy
If you are looking to start DBT therapy, the first step is finding a qualified therapist who specializes in this form of therapy. While there are lots of talk therapists to choose from out there, not all of them specialize in DBT, so it’s important to find one that does.
We’ll go over a few tips on how to find the right therapist for your needs and how to start DBT therapy.
Finding a Qualified Therapist
There are many benefits of working with a qualified therapist and you should look for one who has specialized in DBT therapy. As there is no set training requirement to become a certified DBT therapist, some therapists may be more suitable than others.
If you’re wondering whether a therapist specializes in DBT, there are a number of ways to tell.
- Ask your current therapist if they specialize in DBT
- Use an online therapist directory, filter by “Types of Therapy”, and select DBT
- Contact local mental health providers
If you are not able to find someone explicitly specializing in DBT therapy, it may be helpful to find a therapist you are interested in, and then ask about their training and experience with DBT to see if you are comfortable working with them.
There are a lot of benefits to choosing a therapist who specializes in DBT skills. DBT skills can help you better cope with stressful events in your life, and help you look at life with a better mindset.
Individual vs. Group Therapy
At Eddins Counseling Group, we offer individual DBT counseling as well as group therapy. We offer the following DBT groups:
- DBT (Skills) Therapy Group (for adults), choose one of three sessions:
- Mondays at lunch
- Tuesday evenings
- Thursday evenings
- Parents of Teens DBT Skills Group
- Teen DBT Skills Group (for high schoolers)
- Pre-Teen DBT Skills Group (for middle schoolers)
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