At PROMIS, we use a wide range of modalities to treat mental health and addiction issues. Dialectical behaviour therapy has proven to be a valuable resource that has helped thousands of patients who have walked through our doors.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of evidence-based psychotherapy that derives from cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). While CBT focuses mainly on changing one’s thoughts, DBT emphasises the acceptance and modification of one’s behaviours. Dr Marsha Linehan and her colleagues originally developed the therapy in the late 1980s, and it helps individuals develop healthier thought patterns and strategies for regulating their emotions.
Initially designed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD), DBT has now become a leading treatment for people who struggle with emotional instability. If you’ve been dealing with a mental health condition, DBT can be an effective way to take control of your condition and improve your overall well-being.
DBT is a highly effective approach, particularly in the realm of addiction treatment and mental health care. This specialised form of therapy was initially designed to aid individuals with borderline personality disorder, although its efficacy has seen it being widely adopted for various psychological issues – addiction treatment being one of them.
At its core, DBT combines individual therapy with group sessions – something that promotes both personal and communal healing. During weekly individual therapy, our patients work closely with a DBT therapist where they can explore personal challenges and develop coping strategies for their issues. This one-on-one setting is optimal for tailoring the therapy to each patient’s unique needs and circumstances.
Within these group sessions, participants learn and practice new skills together in a supportive group setting. These sessions are instrumental in teaching behavioural skills that are vital for managing stress, regulating emotions, and improving interpersonal relationships – all of which are critical components in the journey to recovery.
The essence of DBT treatment lies in its dual focus: acceptance and change. Clients are encouraged to accept themselves as they are while simultaneously working towards changing harmful behaviours and thought patterns. This balance is vital to DBT’s effectiveness.
DBT’s holistic approach is what makes it a powerful tool in addiction treatment. It not only addresses the addiction itself but also the underlying emotional and psychological issues that may contribute to the addictive behaviour. This comprehensive therapy is designed to help individuals not only overcome their addiction but also enhance their overall quality of life – this is what makes DBT a cornerstone in modern therapeutic interventions for addiction.
WHAT CAN I GET OUT OF DBT?
DBT is much more than just a treatment; it’s a journey towards a more balanced and fulfilling life. Through a combination of therapy sessions, whether individual or in a group setting, DBT helps individuals learn and internalise skills essential for managing intense emotions, navigating interpersonal relationships, and cultivating mindfulness. These skills are not just theoretical but practical tools that can be applied in everyday life – this is something that promotes lasting change and personal growth.
Emotion Regulation Skills: Learn to understand and manage your emotions effectively. DBT teaches techniques to reduce vulnerability to emotional pain and increase positive emotions.
Mindfulness Skills: Develop an acute awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness in DBT is about experiencing the current moment without judgment and fully engaging with life as it is.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Enhance your ability to interact positively and assertively with others. This includes learning to say no, asking for what you need, and handling conflicts constructively.
Skills Training in a Group Setting: Share experiences and learn from others in a safe and supportive group environment. Practising skills in a group helps reinforce learning and provides a network of support.
Applying Skills Between Sessions: DBT isn’t confined to therapy sessions. You’ll learn to apply these skills in real-life situations, helping to change your behaviour and thought patterns effectively.
Managing Intense Emotions: Gain tools to navigate through intense emotions without resorting to harmful behaviours. This is crucial in overcoming addictive patterns and emotional distress.
Consolidating Skills Learned in Therapy: DBT is about integrating skills into your daily life. The more you practice, the more natural these skills become, leading to lasting change.
Remember, change is possible, and DBT is a valuable tool to guide you through it. For more information on how DBT can help you or your loved ones, please contact us.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED USING DBT?
DBT’s comprehensive approach, which combines cognitive-behavioural techniques with mindfulness principles, makes it uniquely effective in treating a spectrum of mental health disorders. Its focus on skill-building, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance provides individuals with the tools to manage their symptoms and lead more balanced lives. Here are some of the conditions that can be effectively treated using DBT:
CONDITIONS TREATED WITH DBT
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): DBT was initially developed for this condition. It helps in managing the intense emotional swings and impulsive behaviours often associated with BPD.
Bipolar Disorder: DBT assists individuals in regulating their mood swings and coping with the emotional turbulence that characterises bipolar disorder.
Suicidal Behaviour and Self-Injurious Behaviour: DBT is highly effective in reducing suicidal ideation and self-harm, offering coping mechanisms to handle distressing emotions.
Eating Disorders: This includes conditions like binge eating disorder and other eating-related issues like bulimia and anorexia. DBT helps in developing a healthier relationship with food and body image.
Substance Use Disorder: DBT provides strategies for managing cravings, avoiding triggers, and maintaining sobriety, making it a valuable tool in addiction recovery.
Parasuicidal Behaviours: Behaviours that are self-harming but not intended to be lethal are addressed through DBT’s focus on emotional regulation and distress tolerance.
DBT’s adaptability and comprehensive approach make it a valuable treatment for these and other mental health conditions. Its emphasis on acceptance and change empowers individuals to understand and take control of their mental health, significantly improving their quality of life.
BENEFITS OF DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOUR THERAPY
DBT is a tool for life transformation. The skills taught throughout this therapy are invaluable in managing mental health challenges and can significantly improve daily living. Whether it’s through individual therapy sessions where personal issues are addressed or group therapy where skills are practised and reinforced, DBT provides a comprehensive and thorough approach to mental wellness.
Enhanced Emotional Regulation
DBT teaches skills to understand and manage intense emotions, reducing impulsivity and emotional distress.
Improved Interpersonal Skills
Through DBT, individuals learn to communicate more effectively, build healthier relationships, and manage conflicts constructively.
Effective Stress Management
DBT offers tools to cope with stressful situations, enhancing resilience and overall mental well-being.
Reduced Risk of Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour
By providing strategies to handle distress, DBT significantly lowers the risks associated with self-injurious behaviours.
Mindfulness skills developed in DBT encourage living in the present moment, fostering a heightened sense of self-awareness and peace.
Positive Behavioural Changes
DBT aids in replacing harmful behaviours with positive ones, promoting a more stable and healthy lifestyle.
Individual therapy sessions in DBT allow for deep self-exploration and understanding, leading to personal growth.
CONTACT PROMIS FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SUPPORT
If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health-related issues and feel you may benefit from DBT sessions with us, take the first step and give us a call today – start the journey toward feeling better, get the support you need, and turn your life around. Here at PROMIS, we can provide you with a free assessment, evaluate your condition, provide advice, and, ultimately, get you the most suitable treatment.