Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

DBT Therapist, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYCDialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan as a treatment for chronically suicidal individuals with borderline personality disorder. It has since been adapted for use with clients experiencing a range of problems, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders.  DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy and includes mindfulness practices adapted from Eastern contemplative traditions.  

What does “dialectical” mean?  In DBT, the dialectical approach means weighing and considering contradictory ideas and facts to work toward resolving that apparent contradiction.  The primary dialectic involves being able to both accept one’s life as it is while working toward changing behaviors that are not effective.

DBT has been adapted for use in many settings. To get the most benefit, it is important for clients to receive both individual therapy and group skills training.

If you are interested in DBT treatment, contact me and see if DBT may be for you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

5 Reasons DBT Is For You

  1. You feel controlled by your emotions.

Dialectical behavior therapy targets problems with emotion dysregulation -- that is, problems managing the moment-to-moment flow of emotions that we all experience.  DBT can help you learn skills to make yourself less vulnerable to negative emotions, to add positive emotional experiences to your life, and to mindfully experience, accept, and love your emotional states.

  1. Sometimes you feel life is not worth living.

DBT is not a suicide prevention program, but rather a program to help you create a life that you will want to live.  This happens through learning skills and applying them to your life.

  1. You find it difficult to ask for what you need.

DBT’s interpersonal effectiveness skills training includes sessions specifically focused on learning how to make a request of another person -- and, just as important, how to respond when something is asked of you.  This includes analyzing the relational context and considering what your goals are in a particular situation.

  1. Thoughts are always running through your head and you would like to slow them down.

At the core of dialectical behavior therapy is mindfulness, a collection of practices that Marsha Linehan has imported from the Zen tradition.  Mindfulness skills are incorporated throughout the therapy.

  1. You’ve been in therapy before and is has not helped.

DBT has helped many people who have tried therapy many times without any relief.  DBT’s comprehensive approach to learning skills in a group setting, applying them, and targeting specific behaviors in individual therapy has helped people to create lives worth living and to experience more joy.

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