Behavioral health professionals have used dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) since the 1980s to treat various mental health disorders. Get to know more about DBT and how it could help you or a loved one during mental health treatment.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Woman going through dialectical behavior therapyA type of psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy works from the theory that some people react more intensely than others in certain emotional situations. For instance, behavioral health experts who subscribe to DBT believe some people become upset more quickly and reach a higher level of anger than other people. They also take longer to return to normalcy after such an episode.

DBT has proven to be especially helpful in treating personality and mood disorders. Individuals with these issues tend to experience extreme emotional swings, consistent crises, and polarized viewpoints. Without the means for coping with these wide emotional swings, life for these individuals can be difficult. DBT helps them learn skills to help reduce their emotional surges.

DBT Characteristics

Effective dialectical behavior therapy depends upon several elements. The most effective DBT is:

  • Support-oriented: Professionals work with residents to identify their strengths and build upon them for greater self-confidence.
  • Cognitive-based: Dialectical behavior therapy helps residents identify thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life more difficult.
  • Collaborative: Clients and staff must work together in DBT, paying constant attention to their relationship, working out problems as they happen, and discussing issues instead of letting them fester. Residents learn new coping skills through weekly lectures, weekly homework, and practice in group sessions.

The Four Goals of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

During DBT sessions, therapists seek to accomplish four main goals:

  • Promote mindfulness: During DBT, therapists teach individuals to focus on the present instead of the past or the future. Remaining grounded in the moment makes it easier for individuals to overcome past trauma or future stress.
  • Increase interpersonal effectiveness: DBT teaches residents effective strategies for resisting urges that go against their overall well-being. Examples include learning to avoid stressful situations and staying away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Address emotional regulation: Therapists help residents process thoughts, feelings, and behaviors more effectively. In many cases, this involves teaching residents how to take the opposite action when negative actions to lead to adverse consequences.
  • Increase distress tolerance: DBT teaches individuals how to find a balance between accepting and changing a stressful situation. During the process, they become more adept at dealing with discomfort.

About Rose Hill Center

At Rose Hill Center in Holly, Michigan, dialectical behavior therapy and other forms of behavioral therapy are vital components of our mental health programs. Our proven therapeutic methods have helped numerous former residents achieve lasting stability and independence.

We treat a variety of mental health disorders, including:

If you or someone you is struggling with a mental health disorder, our compassionate professionals are ready to help. Call Rose Hill Center now at 866-367-0220.