When it comes to treating mental health disorders, the approach and range of treatments can vary considerably. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy, which is based on evidence and was initially programmed for the treatment of borderline personality disorder. Today, DBT is used for varied cases, mostly for patients who are prone to suicidal tendencies, self-harm and substance abuse. The main concept of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is to bring two opposite ideas together – acceptance and change. Most therapists decide on the treatment after a series of tests and diagnostic exams. There are many centers that offer DBT Program in Edina, MN, and the overall approach to therapy depends on the facts of the case.
When is DBT useful?
Let’s start by talking a bit about the background of DBT. Known psychology researcher – Marsha M. Linehan – is credited for developing Dialectical Behavior Therapy in 1980s, as a means to treat borderline personality disorder. It was then used for treating patients who were chronically suicidal. There is now enough evidence that proves that DBT is actually very useful for treatment of other health conditions, such as –
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance abuse
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI),
- Eating issues
- Mood disorders
People who are prone to self-harm are more likely to gain the advantages of DBT, and there are cases where the therapy has helped patients who were dependent on certain drugs and chemicals.
Using DBT effectively
DBT brings in two important aspects of checking for negative thoughts and odd behavioral patterns – change and acceptance. Basically, the patient is asked to consider his current state and “accept” his flaws and thoughts, while also using therapies, means and ways of controlling such behavior. Patients are also asked to try and test their overall level of distress tolerance, where they can actually feel the emotions related to self-damage or injury, without actually doing anything. Then there is focus on emotional regulation, as well as, on mindfulness, so that the patient is aware of himself and others around him. Finally, the idea is to help the person in navigating conflict.
The use of DBT is extensive in many centers, and besides individual coaching and group sessions, a therapist consultation team will also work together to offer the best support that a patient may need to get better. There is also phone consultation in the process between sessions.