DBT is a talk therapy derived from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

It’s designed for those who feel emotions intensely.

The term “dialectical” signifies merging opposite ideas, helping individuals accept and change unhelpful behaviors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For which conditions is DBT recommended?

DBT has been successful in treating:

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD).
  • Self-harm and suicidal behavior.
  • PTSD.
  • Substance misuse.
  • Eating disorders like binge eating and bulimia.
  • Depression and anxiety.

Its efficacy stems from addressing issues arising from trying to control intense emotions.

What does the DBT process involve?

Generally, DBT involves:

  • DBT pre-assessment: Determines suitability for DBT.
  • Individual therapy: Weekly 40-60 minute sessions to develop new skills.
  • Skills training in groups: Not group therapy but more educational.
  • Telephone crisis coaching: As-needed basis for immediate support.

What skills are taught in DBT?

The main skills include:

  • Mindfulness: Staying present-focused.
  • Distress tolerance: Managing emotions during stress.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Setting boundaries respectfully.
  • Emotion regulation: Understanding and controlling emotions.

How long does DBT typically last?

DBT usually spans six months to a year. However, it varies per individual. Conditions like borderline personality disorder might require several years of treatment.

What are the proven benefits of DBT?

Research shows that DBT can lead to reduced self-harm, anger, inpatient hospitalization days, drug/alcohol misuse, and improved depressive symptoms.