What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a treatment developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan in the 1970’s as a way to help patients who suffer from a borderline personality disorder and emotional dysregulation which results in self-destructive behaviors. It was originally designed to treat patients with suicidal behaviors and borderline personality disorder. Since then, the DBT therapy has proven to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, addictions, other personality disorders, and impulse control disorders.

Today, Dialectical Behavior Therapy is considered to be one of the most clinically proven methods of therapy, as it is backed by a great deal of evidence-based research. The most noticeable success of DBT is that this form of therapy helps you develop strong coping skills devised to help bring about continual recovery from the psychological troubles that are affecting you.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy integration at Foundations Counseling is aimed at helping individuals understand the triggers that lead to destructive and impulsive behaviors and develop new skills to cope with emotion dysregulation. The treatment also focuses on developing a capacity to hold onto seemingly contradictory truths (dialectics) like the need for both acceptance and change.

A complete DBT treatment generally starts with a shorter-term commitment of treatment to learn the skills and apply them, but often requires longer to improve understanding and generalization of the skills to everyday life.

The four components of comprehensive DBT treatment are:

  • Individual Structured DBT Therapy
  • DBT Skills
  • Skills Coaching
  • Participation and Reconnection

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How does DBT Therapy Work?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a process of different stages, all of which are developed to help encourage a willingness to get better and obtain healthy coping skills. The DBT process is broken down into four different stages:

  • Stage One: Stage one of DBT serves as the foundation on which you will build your success. During this first stage, you will begin learning how to control your behaviors, including those behaviors that prevent you from getting the help you need or cause you to harm yourself physically or emotionally. You will also work with a licensed Foundations Counseling therapist to identify additional disorders that might be occurring simultaneously with your primary disorder.
  • Stage Two: Rather than bottling up emotional responses, stage two of DBT helps you learn the power of expression. By talking about your emotions with your Foundation Counseling therapist, you can learn how to cope with your underlying issues rather than jeopardize your physical or psychological health. In stage two, you will work with your therapist to acknowledge and work through any traumatic experiences or emotional struggles that have prevented you from overcoming obstacles in the past.
  • Stage Three: By combining the skills developed in the first two stages of DBT, you will use stage three to learn how to solve your problems successfully, all while striving to maintain proper functioning in your life.
  • Stage Four: To wrap up the process of DBT, therapists work with you in stage four to help you reconnect to other individuals in your lives. By working on communication skills and sorting through potential attachment and detachment issues, you can begin learning how to foster positive relationships during this final stage of therapy.

Throughout these stages, you will focus on gaining skills in the areas of emotional regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness.

What Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Treat?

For individuals struggling with serious psychological issues, it can be increasingly difficult to manage them without engaging in some form of therapy. In addition to treating Borderline Personality Disorder, Dialectical Behavior Therapy also helps treat the following disorders:

  • Mood disorders, including depression
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Eating Disorders and Addictions
  • Substance Abuse
  • Dealing with Grief or Loss
  • Other personality disorders, such as Dependent Personality Disorder

With many of the above disorders come numerous behavioral problems, all of which DBT is designed to help treat. Through the steps of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, individuals dealing with these disorders can address issues such as emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, self-esteem issues, relationship issues, self-harmful behavior, risky behaviors, and suicidality.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Foundations Counseling

Foundations Counseling is one of the few treatment centers in Texas that offers comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy throughout all levels of care. That means you can participate in individual DBT sessions and coaching.

DBT is the core of our treatment program, and staff have been trained in DBT to help you get support and practice your DBT skills while you’re in treatment. Our Foundations Counseling therapists certified in DBT provide you with the skills needed to have a successful recovery.

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