01 Oct

I keep hearing about DBT therapy – what is it?

Are you struggling with understanding your emotions?  Do you feel as if everyone around you is walking on eggshells because of your intense feelings and erratic/destructive behaviors?  Do you feel that your anxiety or depression is getting in the way of living your best life? Could you use a way to overcome negative patterns of thinking?   If you can answer yes to any of these questions, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) might be a good fit for you.

 

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan to be an effective strategy to help people manage overwhelming emotions.

The really important thing to know is that Dialectical Behavior Therapy has been proven to help clients build a life they consider worth living.

Research shows that many people have intense emotions hardwired at birth.  In DBT, you will learn skills that can help strengthen their ability to manage and handle stressful situations.  Often, painful and intense feelings can lead to a loss of control and impulsive behaviors that can be destructive. A counselor specializing in DBT is prepared to address these intense emotions or feelings, and the corresponding reactions that go with them.

You have learned certain behaviors which can be adaptive in the short run (for example: cutting/self-harm can provide temporary relief of painful emotions), but they can be extremely dangerous, nonadaptive and unhealthy in the long run (we all logically know that self-harm is an unhealthy coping mechanism). Dialectical Behavioral Therapy helps by addressing the way you or your teen react emotionally now, and introducing an alternative, healthy reaction moving forward.

 

What does DBT look like?

DBT is a way of treating clients that combines both individual therapy and group therapy together.   In DBT individual sessions, the client and the therapist work together to set goals that are meaningful to the client.  DBT individual therapy helps clients build motivation towards change. Often this means they work on ways to decrease harmful behaviors and replace them with effective, life-enhancing behaviors.   

The DBT group sessions focus on skill-building and how to apply each skill to daily living. The group focuses on helping adults or teens learn the five tenets of DBT.  Learning the five tenets of DBT can help with the following problems by learning skills. For instance, you will learn:

 

Problems (Behaviors to Stop)

Skills (Behaviors to Learn)

Confusion about self

Mindfulness: focusing the mind, directing attention, understanding how you feel.

Teen and family problems

Walking the middle path: Helping with teenager and family problems.

Problems with others

Interpersonal effectiveness: Keeping relationships steady and getting what is needed.

Emotional changes

Emotion regulation: Reducing emotional intensity

Impulsivity

Distress tolerance: Reducing impulsivity

 

Now that you know what DBT Therapy is, come experience it for yourself

The life enhancing benefits of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can help you move forward with a life you truly enjoy living.  In Dr. Jessica Pae’s DBT Group for Adolescents, your teen will learn new skills, and Dr. Pae will help ensure you have the tools as a parent to encourage them along the way. For more information, please contact Dr. Jessica Pae at jpae@gracecounseling.net.     

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