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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of talking therapy which is a modified form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The purpose of DBT is to equip an individual with skills and techniques to manage distressing emotions and to better cope with interpersonal relationships. DBT teaches how to see two opposite perspectives, rather than sticking with one or having “all or nothing” mindset.

DBT consists of four key components; mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mindfulness teaches the client how to leave the past in the past, by grounding themself in the present. It supports the development of awareness of our own thoughts, sensations and emotions as well as cultivating an attitude of acceptance to what cannot be changed. Distress tolerance aims to increase the capacity to tolerate stress and not to always rely on the “fight or flight” responses. Emotional regulation focuses on techniques that can help with tackling intense emotions which in the past caused severe distress and impacted on the individual’s quality of life. Interpersonal effectiveness works with the client’s style of communication to strengthen relationships.

Originally DBT was only used to treat borderline personality disorder, but it has been found effective against depression, PTSD and eating disorders.

Adrian Olesiak Adolescent Psychotherapist

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