DBT is also known as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an effective evidence-based therapy for various mental health issues. It combines awareness with effective behavioral strategies to treat depression, stress, trauma, anxiety, intense emotions, and self-harming behaviors.
People in treatment can find acceptance and support from certified DBT practitioners. Many of the individuals with whom they deal with have difficult to treat conditions. They establish methods for attaining objectives, promoting well-being, and bringing about a good long-term change.
You can find good DBT therapist online, on plaform such as BetterHelp.com for example.
Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a DBT therapist online or near your location.
What is DBT?
Marsha M. Lineham, a psychologist, created DBT, short for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, in the late 1980s. DBT was created to help patients with chronic suicidal thoughts, a hallmark of borderline personality disorder.
Currently, DBT is also being used to treat patients who have severe or chronic mental health problems. Self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder are among the concerns that DBT addresses.
It is a talking therapy that is used to assist people in coping with challenging emotions. This therapy aims to teach patients ways to accept and manage their emotions to better modify any potentially damaging or unhealthy behavior better.
How Does DBT work?
Individual and group sessions are both parts of DBT. The number of sessions of each type is set individually, although both types are typically suggested for the greatest results.
Individual Psychotherapy Sessions
Individual treatment sessions are normally scheduled once a week. Problem-solving behavior is stressed throughout the 1-on-1 sessions. Suicidal behavior, trauma recovery, and self-esteem improvements are among the topics addressed by the clients.
Therapists work with clients to teach and encourage adaptive behavior. Furthermore, rather than attempting to remove patients from emotionally charged circumstances, they assist them in coping with their trauma.
Group Psychotherapy Sessions
This session lasts around two and a half hours and takes place once a week. A certified DBT therapist leads the sessions. People learn one of the four modules during group DBT. They get the opportunity to talk about and practice the skills they gained in individual DBT sessions.
Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a DBT therapist online or near your location.
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Four Modules of DBT
This module teaches you to pay attention to your thoughts, be present, and be anchored in the present moment. Mindfulness is a necessary component of all group session skills. Patients are taught to remove the judgmental “good” or “bad” labels from their feelings.
2. Interpersonal Effectiveness
DBT teaches people how to respond to others in social situations. It teaches how to ask for what one needs, say no, and deal with interpersonal disagreement effectively.
This module teaches patients how to deal with situations in which they want something altered or are resisting change. It also increases the likelihood of a person’s goal being achieved while ensuring that relationships are not harmed.
3. Distress Tolerance
Many mental health therapy methods focus on resolving upsetting experiences. DBT, for example, emphasizes learning to accept emotional discomfort or suffering. The goal is to learn to handle suffering effectively, and it builds on your mindfulness practice.
Distractions, self-soothing, calculating the pros and drawbacks, and making the moment better are some of the crisis survival skills you may adopt.
4. Emotion Regulation
People with some mental health conditions are unable to regulate their emotions. As a cognitive-behavioral approach, DBT focuses on techniques to assist people with these disorders in managing their emotions so that they do not have to deal with them all the time.
Detecting and labeling your feelings, boosting good emotional experiences, and taking opposing action are all skills you may acquire here. You will also examine what is preventing you from altering your feelings.
Benefits of DBT
While DBT was developed to address borderline personality disorder, it has now been applied to many mental illnesses. In certain cases, such as eating disorders, it can be changed to better suit the disorder’s therapeutic demands.
The following disorders respond well to DBT treatment:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Anxiety Disorder
- Substance Addiction
- Borderline Personality Disorder
DBT is useful in preventing suicide attempts, according to research by Linehan et al. (2006), published in JAMA. This study reported that those who underwent DBT were half as likely to try suicide.
Moreover, compared to individuals who got psychotherapy from clinicians who were specialists in treating suicide and self-harm, they had fewer psychiatric hospitalizations. They were also less likely to drop out of treatment.
How to find a DBT Therapy Near Me?
DBT therapists might be difficult to find. You can always search on Google and type the keyword “dialectical behavior therapy near me” along with the area you live in. On the other hand, there are a handful of sites that might be useful in your search.
The DBT Clinical Resource Directory managed by Behavioral Tech is an organization formed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., to train mental health professionals in DBT. It is the ideal location to start your search.
This directory allows you to look for therapists and programs that have completed DBT training through Behavioral Tech, LLC or the University of Washington’s Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC). Treatment programs can be found by searching by continent, nation, state, or province.
You can also try contacting psychology or psychiatry departments at nearby universities, colleges, or hospitals. You can also try seeking a government agency in your region that deals with mental health issues.
Government agencies include, for instance, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Social Services, or other similar organizations. These organizations could be aware of DBT therapists in your region and provide a reference based on your requirements.
DBT Online Therapy
Online counseling is far more than an in-person conversation. In fact, in a study conducted in 2018, it was reported that an increasing amount of individuals have turned to online therapy.
The patient and therapist meet online via text, phone, or video chat conveniently for both sides. It works similarly to traditional face-to-face treatment but with greater flexibility.
The assistance you require is practically at your fingertips. Taking the plunge and beginning treatment might be intimidating for many of us. Dialectical Behavior Therapy online is the best option for those people who:
- Cannot find a therapist near them or do not want to travel
- Do not have enough time to squeeze in a visit to the therapists
- Want to keep their therapy private
- Find opening up easy online as compared to in-person
Many online treatment websites provide all-inclusive price options that include limitless sessions and communications. These are especially useful for people experiencing emotional stress or worry and need to talk to someone fast.
Dialectical behavior therapy online sites such as BetterHelp.com aims to assist individuals in learning to live in the present, improving coping skills, re-establishing connections, and improving emotional control.
One of the most often suggested online counseling websites is BetterHelp. They have several highly certified psychologists who have delivered DBT therapy before.
You may communicate with your therapist from any location where there is an internet connection. Furthermore, you will have the freedom to pick the time and method of communication for your appointments.
They can also give this treatment to you in the privacy of your own home or workplace using their online platform, which was created specifically to make psychological counseling comfortable and accessible.
DBT is founded on the premise that our ideas, feelings, actions, and how we feel in our bodies are all interrelated. We are all different, which means we each have our own set of problems to address.
Many DBT online sites allow you to switch therapists if something does not seem right the first time. As a result, online DBT counseling could be the best option.
You will still get the help you need from experts. You can still work hard and take care of your mental health from the convenience and safety of your own home.
Can I do DBT Myself?
There are many DBT online courses for patients; however, unlike CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), learning DBT strategies on your own can be tough.
When you first begin DBT, it might be daunting. As a result, performing it on your own is rarely as effective as attending online or physical sessions led by expert therapists.
Joining an online DBT group on Facebook is one thing you can do right now to start learning DBT. DBT groups consist of members that are in different stages of recovery and are generally well-informed.
If you have any DBT related questions, you can ask them in the online DBT group, and the majority of the time, you will always get an answer that is useful, realistic, and sympathetic.
DBT is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for a variety of mental health issues. It is a powerful cognitive-behavioral approach that can benefit a wide range of people.
If you think you would benefit from DBT, you should get advice from a professional DBT doctor or healthcare practitioner.
Finding a therapist with experience in each of the four therapy modules is necessary because, when done correctly, this treatment strategy has been shown to have a long-term impact and reduce emotional suffering. Dialectical behavioral therapy is a beacon of hope for many people.
Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.