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 individual with skills/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 consist of four key components, mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Mindfulness teaches individual how to leave past in the past, by grounding self in the present. It supports the development of awareness of own thoughts, sensations and emotions as well as cultivating an attitude of acceptance to what cannot be changed. Distress tolerance aims to increase individual’s capacity to tolerate stress rather and not to always rely on the “fight or flight” responses. Emotion regulation focuses on techniques that can help individual tackle intense emotions which in the past caused severe distress and impacted on the individual’s quality of life. Interpersonal effectiveness works with individual’s style of communication to strengthens relationship.
Originally DBT was only used with borderline personality disorders, but it has been found effective against depression, PTSD and eating disorders.
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