There are certain points in your daily life where you may feel two contrasting emotions. You can feel highly confident in one moment and lose all hope in the very next. You could also profoundly love someone and resent them the next day. These feelings and thoughts can be confusing. It may become overwhelming to comprehend and navigate them. However, mental health professionals trained in dialectical behavior therapy can help you in such situations. This therapy works on acceptance, followed by change. It gives validation and reassurance to the clients, thus motivating them to change their unhelpful and self-destructive behaviors and actions.
Yet, it can be challenging to get a start. Clients may feel nervous about stepping into therapy, especially if they have never had this experience. They may also think that voicing their concerns and conflicting feelings before someone else is unrequired. To go through the treatment in an unknown environment can also be intimidating.
However, if left untreated, extreme and contrasting attitudes can worsen your mental illness. Thus, you can now receive DBT online. Online consultations give you more power as you can schedule sessions with trained and experienced practitioners from the safety and comfort of your home. Clients who reside in remote areas or have limited resources can now have easier access to medical facilities. This makes it simple to get the best mental healthcare at your convenience!
What is DBT?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a specific and modified type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Developed in the 1970s by Dr. Marsha Linehan, this therapy focuses on reconciling the opposites. It initially focused on treating chronically suicidal clients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It helps people accept their negative behaviors and thoughts and work on changing those.
The core philosophy of this treatment approach lies in believing that all things are interconnected, change is the only constant and is inevitable, and opposites can be brought together to get a clearer picture. Thus, two things that seem to be opposed can both be true. For example, being happy with where you are in life is wonderful. At the same time, it is also okay if you desire to strive and grow from there.
So, this treatment approach helps those who feel emotions intensely. Invalidating or dismissing the feelings can worsen the symptoms of mental health issues. This treatment approach works toward validating and regulating these feelings.
What are the Benefits?
This evidence-based treatment aims to help the person receiving therapy experience positive changes by resolving the contradiction between self-acceptance and change. As invalidating actions can lead to problematic behaviors, offering validation is the first step in this process. This can make the people more receptive to cooperation and less prone to feel upset by the prospect of change.
In reality, the therapist affirms that a person's behaviors "make sense" in light of their unique experiences while not necessarily concurring that they are the best course of action for resolving a problem.
The benefits of this treatment approach are:
- Acceptance and Change: You'll pick up strategies for coping with the situations in your daily life, your feelings, and yourself. Additionally, you will learn abilities that will enable you to modify your actions and social interactions for the better.
- Behavioral: You'll learn to identify problems or harmful behavior patterns and replace them with more beneficial and productive ones.
- Cognitive: Your attention will be on modifying unhelpful or ineffective thoughts and beliefs.
- Collaboration: You'll develop teamwork skills and effective communication.
- Enhancement: You'll pick up new skills to improve your abilities.
- Encouragement: You'll be motivated to acknowledge your positive traits and strengths, help them grow, and put them to good use.
The following are a few of the DBT techniques:
Core Mindfulness: It helps you focus on the present or "live in the moment," which enables you to pay attention to what is happening both inside of you (your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and impulses) and around you (what you see, hear, smell, and touch) in a nonjudgmental manner.
When experiencing emotion dysregulation, mindfulness skills can help you slow down and concentrate on employing appropriate coping mechanisms. The technique can also assist you in maintaining your composure and preventing impulsive conduct and negative automatic thought patterns.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: This enhances your ability to articulate your demands, be more assertive, and say "no" in a relationship while maintaining an amicable connection. You will learn to respect yourself and others, set boundaries, listen and communicate more effectively, and handle difficult situations and people.
These skill sets challenge clients' unfavorable assumptions about their surroundings, interpersonal relationships, and selves. This is to instruct clients on using certain interpersonal problem solving, social, and assertiveness skills to change unfavorable settings and achieve their objectives in interpersonal interactions.
- Emotional Regulation: This allows you to navigate and identify your emotions, healthily process them, and channel them into positive things. It also requires you to identify the context in which a feeling occurs or what exactly triggers those emotions. Once identified, emotions can be regulated as per the situation.
- Distress Tolerance: Also known as "crisis survival skills," these help a person endure a sudden emotional crisis by being able to handle it without making it worse. When people feel out of control and powerless to change the circumstance, these skill sets also assist them in accepting the truth of the scenario. Distress tolerance skills can aid people in managing their emotions when they are unsure of what they want or need at the time.
What Conditions Can it Help Treat?
People who successfully enhance their coping abilities with this therapy approach can create efficient means of managing and expressing intense emotions. Some conditions that it can help treat are:
- Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): Extreme emotional outbursts, mood swings, and sensitivity to rejection are all symptoms of BPD. DBT treatment teaches people with BPD how to manage their emotions and stop thinking in ways that cause emotional distress.
- Depression: Dialectical behavior therapy helps empower people who may be depressed. It encourages people to fill their life with joyful emotional experiences to have better relationships and be content. This treatment also equips people with depression with the resources they need to take control of their lives when depression strikes.
- Anxiety: Anxious people often become caught up in a never-ending cycle of worry and bad thoughts. To prevent this, this therapy teaches people how to live in the present. It gives them the means to put their troubles aside and concentrate on the here and now.
- Eating Disorders: DBT assists people with eating disorders, especially binge eating disorders, by teaching them how to control their emotions and recognize the feelings that cause them to binge eat.
- Self-Harm: This therapy can also help suicidal individuals who indulge in self-harming behaviors. This type of therapy gives them the skills they lack and raises their self-esteem by providing positive reinforcement. Additionally, it helps them improve their emotional regulation by teaching them the triggers that lead to these intense negative emotions and suicidal thoughts.
- Addiction and Substance Abuse Disorders: Dialectical behavioral skills are beneficial in treating borderline personality disorder patients with co-occurring substance use disorder. Through numerous exercises and approaches, a substance use-focused DBT approach strengthens people's motivation to change while encouraging them to commit to abstinence. Relapse is treated as a problem to be solved in this method. To assist the patient reverse the harm they did to others and themselves as a result of the relapse, therapists work with them to analyze the circumstances that contributed to the relapse. The purpose is to raise the individual's knowledge of the detrimental effects of alcohol or drug use.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Through this treatment approach, people can learn to live in the present. It can also teach them to deal with emotional trauma and identify triggers.
- Mood Disorders: DBT skills can also help with mood disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Emotional regulation skills and distress tolerance can significantly help with this. This treatment approach can help control the stressors that make people with mood disorders more susceptible to depression, mania, or psychosis.
- Survivors of Abuse: This treatment can support sexual abuse survivors in leading a healthy life by assisting them in managing their discomfort and emotions and living in the present.
Get Counseling from a Trusted Therapist With DocVita
This treatment demands a considerable time commitment. In addition to regular therapy appointments, people are expected to work on skills outside of individual, group, and phone counseling sessions. This approach is an effective treatment for those struggling with strong, negative emotions. Finding the ideal DBT practitioners for you may be challenging and time-consuming, but it's crucial to keep looking. The sooner you can begin counseling and commit to it, your quality of life will improve.
So, finding an experienced and committed DBT therapist who can lend a compassionate and empathetic ear is crucial. And at DocVita, we can connect you with specialists specializing in dialectical behavior therapy. All you have to do is visit our page, browse through a comprehensive list of experts, and book your first therapy session today!