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DBT Dialectical Behavior Therapy

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CORE MINDFULNESS helps to be in control of your mind rather than letting your mind be in control of you. This section focuses on:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy developed in the late 1980’s by Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan to help better treat borderline personality disorder. Since its development, it has also been used for the treatment of other kinds of mental health disorders.
DBT emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those focused in romantic, family and friend relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s, attain a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take a significant amount of time to return to baseline arousal levels.
People who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder sometimes experience extreme swings in their emotions, see the world in black-and-white shades, and seem to always be jumping from one crisis to another. Because few people understand such reactions - most of all their own family and a childhood that emphasized invalidation - they don’t have any methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotion. DBT is a method for teaching skills that will help in this task.
DBT has two main components:
Individual weekly therapy emphasizes problem-solving behavior for the past week’s issues and troubles that arose in the youth’s life. Self-injurious and
suicidal behaviors take first priority, followed by behaviors that may interfere with the therapy process. Quality of life issues and working toward improving
life in general may also be discussed. Individual sessions in DBT also focus on decreasing and dealing with post-traumatic stress responses (from previous
trauma in the youth’s life) and helping enhance his or her own self-respect and self-image.
Weekly group therapy sessions generally last 90 minutes and are led by a trained DBT therapist. They focus on learning skills from one of five different modules:

CORE MINDFULNESS helps to be in control of your mind rather than letting your mind be in control of you. This section focuses on:
  • Emotional Mind v. Reasonable Mind v. Wise Mind
  • “What” Skills - Keep the focus on the here and now
  • “How” Skills - Focus on coping skills that work
DISTRESS TOLERANCE teaches pain is a part of life and can’t always be avoided; if you can’t cope with painful feelings, it may lead to impulsive behaviors and
acting impulsively can lead to hurting yourself or someone else. Participants will learn:
  • Crisis Survival Skills - Utilize distractions, self-soothe, improve the moment, and look at the pros and cons when in distress
  • TIPPS - Use the body’s autonomic nervous system to calm intense emotional moments
  • Accept reality - Accept the things that cannot be changed and see things for what they are rather than what you want them to be
WALKING THE MIDDLE PATH assists in thinking and acting dialectically. In other words, walking the middle path teaches that there is more than one way to
see a situation, and more than one way to solve a problem. All people have unique qualities and different points of view and two things that are opposites can
be true, while honoring the truth of both sides of a conflict. Participants will learn:
  • Thinking Mistakes - Correct errors in thinking that often times lead to miscommunications or misunderstandings
  • Validations - Validate self, validate others, and learn to recognize invalidating relationships
  • Behavior changes - Positive reinforcement, ways to increase or decrease behavior, and extinguish personal problem behaviors
EMOTIONAL REGULATION assists in taking control of emotions rather than allowing emotions to take control of you. Participants will learn:
  • Emotional Vocabulary - More accurately describe emotions for more effective communication
  • ABC PLEASE - Increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotions by building mastery, planning for potentially emotional situations, and focusing on self-care
  • Accumulate positive experiences - Build a “force field” between the individual and their intense emotions
  • The “Wave” Skill - Utilize mindfulness techniques to assist in “feeling” the emotions rather than pushing them away or succumbing completely
  • Opposite Action - “Do the opposite” in an effort to curb behaviors that are motivated by emotional states
INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS assists in keeping and maintaining healthy relationships, asserting oneself, and maintaining self-respect. Participants will
learn:
  • Barriers to Achievement - Review barriers to achieving such as lack of skill or indecisiveness
  • GIVE Skills - Relational skills of being gentle, acing interested and validating others
  • THINK Skills - Make peace, reduce conflict, and reduce anger by having empathy and using kindness

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