What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy?
Dialetical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioural treatment. It usually involves an individual therapy session and a skills group session every week for at least 6 months.
The skills group focuses on how to:
- manage attention (mindfulness skills)
- manage and cope with emotions (emotional regulation skills)
- deal effectively with others (interpersonal skills)
- tolerate emotional distress (distress tolerance skills)
What types of challenges are best suited for DBT?
DBT has been adapted for the youth population and is an evidence-based treatment. It is usually recommended for those who have tried less intense therapies and are still having challenges.
DBT is especially effective for the following challenges and disorders:
- borderline personality disorder
- suicidal thinking or behaviour (suicide attempts)
- self-injury and other self-destructive behaviours
- anger and anger management
- problems with emotions (such as intense sadness or recurrent fear)
- impulsive behaviours that can be dangerous (such as reckless driving, recurrent unsafe sex, etc.)
- difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships
- chronic feelings of emptiness
- problems with substance use
- eating disorders such as bingeing and purging
How long will it take?
This depends on the individual, but research shows that 6 months to a year of DBT treatment is most effective.