What is DBT?

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DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of psychological therapy that aims to help people who have chronic personalities such as those with suicidal tendencies and those who become dependent in drugs. People with borderline personality disorder may also respond well to DBT or dialectical behavior therapy. Many of the patients that are prescribed with DBT are said to be suffering from heightened behaviors or have higher levels of emotional instability. Patients under DBT are basically taught various coping mechanisms in terms of understanding the emotional crisis they are going through and the appropriate reaction and management to control it.

Marsha M. Linehan is credited as the original developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The original therapy was specifically structured to help patients who are classified as chronically suicidal and patients who are diagnosed to have borderline therapy disorder. The same techniques used in DBT may also be applied for other patients like those who have mood or eating disorders and those who are substance or drug-dependents. DBT sessions are typically divided into two main components which are private or individual sessions and group therapy sessions. During the private sessions, emotional stresses and concerns for a given week are discussed and so-called life-threatening responses are prioritized in terms of management. In the group sessions of DBT, skills on emotional control are taught and practiced along with other patients.

DBT sessions revolve around the idea of supporting patients with their individual needs in terms of emotional and psychological control. Strengths of each patient are identified and these are maximized to gain control over some dysfunctional behavior. Thoughts are also carefully analyzed and identified to determine alternative ways of thinking for patients who have difficulty managing their own emotions in highly-charged situations. The idea of collaboration and group support is also emphasized in terms of people’s roles in making the patients feel and think better. Through weekly group sessions, lectures, and home assignments, skills and more techniques are learned by emotionally unstable patients.

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