Dialectical Behavior Therapy

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Reflections - Addiction Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a therapy to help people change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking, and substance abuse by increase their emotional and cognitive regulation of learning about the triggers leading to reactive states. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking, and substance abuse. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions.

 

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Here at Reflections, your primary therapist (licensed clinical psychologist) will employ and intervene using Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, which combines cognitive and behavior therapies in order to provide residents with positive, productive, healthy skills and coping mechanisms to handle painful emotions. Clients learn how to increase self-awareness, control self-defeating thoughts, and handle conflict and stress by changing maladaptive and destructive self-inflicted patterns. Clients learn to replace these behaviors with healthy and productive self-soothing skills through the process of DBT.

This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions. DBT assumes that people are doing the best they can but are either lacking the skills or influenced by positive or negative reinforcement that interfere with their ability to function appropriately.

DBT is a modified form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was developed in late 1970s by Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, to treat people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and chronically suicidal individuals. Although research on its effectiveness in treating other conditions has been extremely limited, DBT is now used in a variety of psychological treatments including treatment for traumatic brain injuries (TBI), eating disorders, and mood disorders. Scant research indicates that DBT might have some effect on patients who present varied symptoms and behaviors associated with spectrum mood disorders, including self-injury. Recent work also suggests its effectiveness with sexual abuse survivors and chemical dependency.

 

The DBT process involves a progression through four treatment modules:

1. Mindfulness

2. Distress tolerance

3. Emotion Regulation

4. Interpersonal Effectiveness

 

DBT will help individuals in the following ways by:

1. Decreasing high risk suicidal and self-harming behavior

2. Decreasing self-destructive maladaptive behavior patterns

3. Learning and mastering behavioral skills and mood regulation

4. Decreasing symptoms related to trauma, stress, anxiety and depression; thus learn how to stop suffering

5. Enhancing and sustaining self-respect

6. Assistance with goal setting in order to create life worth living

7. Learning how to become more present in the moments of their day

 

DBT is significantly effective in treating:

1. Anxiety Disorders

2. Bipolar Disorder

3. Addictions and Compulsions

4. Depressive Disorders

5. Personality Disorders

6. Eating Disorders

7. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

 

DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. DBT may be the first therapy that has been experimentally demonstrated to be generally effective in treating BPD. The first randomized clinical trial of DBT showed reduced rates of suicidal gestures, psychiatric hospitalizations, and treatment drop-outs when compared to treatment as usual. A meta-analysis found that DBT reached moderate effects in individuals with borderline personality disorder.

 


Dialectical Behavior Therapy

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