Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, often referred to as DBT, was developed by American psychologist Marsha M. Linehan to treat people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Who is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy for?Therapy5

DBT was originally used to treat Borderline Personality Disorder but has since been modified and can also can help treat problems including, Eating Disorders, Self-harm, Substance Abuse, Suicidal Ideation and Relationship Problems.

How Does Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Work?

DBT combines traditional Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques with a range of other strategies aimed at enabling individuals to manage high levels of emotions (e.g. self-acceptance and nurturing, mindfulness meditation and distress tolerance) and improving interpersonal effectiveness (e.g. communication and assertiveness training).

DBT is usually offered in conjunction with a more general programme of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to ensure that the factors underlying the presenting problems are thoroughly resolved thus protecting against potential relapse of symptoms.  DBT focuses on a person’s ability to regulate their emotions as well as their behaviour by finding a ‘balance’ teaching techniques related to accepting yourself as well as changing your behaviour.

A Recent Testimonial

“I’d recommend therapy to anyone who feels they’re struggling – and the truth is we all do struggle in some way. I used to believe having therapy was a sign of weakness.  Now I think it’s just sensible, like taking exercise or having your car serviced. It keeps things running smoothly so that when life gets tough you can cope and when life is good you can enjoy it fully”.
Annabelle - Islington

What the Research into Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Says

Originally DBT was established to treat people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a defining feature of BPD is the experience of high levels of emotional distress coupled with an inability to tolerate these, leading to self-destructive coping strategies including self-harm.  The National Institute for Excellence (NICE) have recommended DBT as the treatment of choice for BPD.

Recent research into the adaptation of DBT has found it to be an effective treatment for people with eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder), victims of childhood sexual abuse and individuals with substance misuse problems.

More Reading on this Subject

For more information, see Mind – Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Recommended Books:

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: Distinctive Features (CBT Distinctive Features) by Michaela A. Swales


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