What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns and pushes for positive behavioral changes while working with individuals experiencing heightened difficulty with emotional regulation. DBT is often used to treat suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors. DBT teaches individuals skills to cope with and change unhealthy behaviors.
Why Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?
While it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions when it comes to researching psychological and emotional phenomena, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has extensive evidence supporting it’s correlation to the reduction in chronically suicidal and self injuring behaviors, hospital and inpatient stays and in improved social functioning. Furthermore, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is proven to be most useful in treating difficulty with emotional regulation, as well as, unstable relationships and impulsive behaviors.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy uses a cognitive approach through four distinct modules: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotional Regulation and Distress Tolerance. A Dialectical Behavioral Therapy approach to treatment views the individual’s experience through the lens of their thoughts and behaviors with a distinct focus on their emotional responsiveness. Ultimately, entering therapy can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to expect. The transparency and step by step process associated with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can help calm any uncertainties.
This may just be a personal preference of ours, but we value practicality. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has a well-researched theoretical base, but in treatment what takes precedence is what is currently taking place in an individual’s life and what can be done to make desired changes. Achieving greater insight is a worthwhile pursuit, but we’re more concerned with helping people put that greater insight to use.
We believe in the adage, “It is a therapist’s goal to work themselves out of a job.” At Mindly, we understand that the reason why people come to therapy is because they are looking for help in escaping some sort of distress. We want to help you feel better as soon as possible while also setting you up for long-term success. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy offers skill development along with real time problem solving that can be useful for many situations. Navigating through the modules increases effectiveness that continues to build success.
At Mindly, we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we know how to solve every problem that our clients experience or that we can somehow lead an individual down a path towards “enlightenment” or “self-actualization” (think Gandhi). Instead, we strive to assist individuals overcome specific obstacles that may be in their self-defined path towards whatever larger end they choose to pursue. Why? Self-actualization is life-long process, whereas therapy shouldn’t have to be.
DBT works well within a problem-solving/coaching framework. We believe that while there is such a thing as mental illness, most of the distress and dysfunction that people (including those with a mental illness) experience is the result of ineffectively utilized mental and behavioral responses to environmental demands. In this sense, mental illness becomes just another obstacle to overcome in pursuit of one’s goals. Because thoughts, emotions, and behaviors underlie all human conscious experience, DBT can be useful in a wide-range of human pursuits including improving social interactions, career advancement, and emotional stability.
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