Dialectic Behavior Therapy

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What is Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)?


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides you with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving your ability to accept and be present in the current moment.

Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing your tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a your life. Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow you to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.

As its name suggests, DBT is influenced by the philosophical perspective of dialectics: balancing opposites.

I consistently work with you to find ways to hold two seemingly opposite perspectives at once, promoting balance and avoiding black and white—the all-or-nothing styles of thinking. In service of this balance, DBT promotes a both-and rather than an either-or outlook. The dialectic at the heart of DBT is acceptance and change.

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