mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Dialectical thinking refers to viewing issues from various perspectives and to find the most reasonable solution or path of action. With the DBT methods, one can control and manage painful emotions while also decreasing conflict in relationships. The term “using your wise mind”, is typically used in reference to the DBT method of finding the middle ground between emotions and rational thoughts to help people change their behavior patterns.

DBT teaches four sets of behavioral skills: mindfulness; distress tolerance; interpersonal effectiveness; and emotion regulation. The first is mindfulness which can help someone accept the present and address their current mood. The second is distress tolerance which can help a person tolerate a negative emotion versus escaping from it. The third is emotion regulation which can help manage and eventually change intense emotions that can be stopping an individual that’s trying to move forward. The last part is interpersonal effectiveness that helps an individual communicate better and maintain stronger boundaries.

Originally developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorders, DBT is now commonly used in combination with other therapies for treating anxiety, depression, substance abuse, impulsive behaviors, work/relationship conflicts, and many others. Truly anyone can benefit from learning DBT skills and incorporating them into daily life.

Would you like to discuss how DBT and Talk Therapy may work for you?