Dialectical behavior therapy (also known as DBT) is a type of psychosocial therapy that’s part of a cognitive behavioral approach. This evidence-based therapy indicates that some people have more intense emotional reactions to situations than others do, which can put strain on relationships. DBT works to balance two opposites at the same time, in the process reorganizing black-and-white, all-or-nothing types of thinking, so that opposing ways of thinking can be true at the same time. Rather than “either or,” you’ll learn through therapy to approach relationships with a “both and” attitude. The result of this way of thought is change and acceptance.
There are four main premises that DBT relies on throughout all its therapies. First, mindfulness helps to keep you grounded in the present moment, aware of your physical surroundings and emotional situation at all times. Second, distress tolerance gives you the tools to handle negative emotions such as anger or sadness, so you don’t feel compelled to run away from them. Third, through emotional regulation, you can learn to identify your emotions and change them when they become a problem for you. And fourth, DBT helps with interpersonal effectiveness, so you can have positive, healthy relationships while still being assertive.
While dialectical behavioral therapy was originally developed in the 1980s to help people with borderline personality disorder, its applications are extensive. It’s especially helpful for anyone who needs help regulating their emotions, interacting more effectively with others, tolerating distress or other negative emotions and living in the moment.
Research evidence shows DBT is highly effective for people dealing with addictions and substance abuse, as well as a number of co-occurring mental health conditions treated with dual diagnosis, such as depression, anxiety, anger management, eating disorders, PTSD and trauma, as well as many others.
If you’d like to learn more about how DBT can help you throughout recovery, please get in touch with Hope Canyon today! We can’t wait to talk with you and help you find the therapy approach that will allow you to thrive in sobriety.