Developed in the late 1980s, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a subset of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It was originally developed to help treat borderline personality disorder but has since become well-used across all aspects of psychotherapy to treat many other kinds of mental health disorders. A type of talk therapy, DBT was founded on the belief that some people tend to react more strongly to certain emotional situations, especially those involving romantic partners, family, and friends. People who experience these strong mood swings often don't have the coping tools to manage them. DBT aims to teach these coping skills so sufferers can have a more manageable emotional experience.

Therapy Session - Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Utah

Are you or someone you love is struggling to manage their emotions? Reach out to our experts at Pathways Real Life Recovery.

What Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Do?

DBT aims to build up a person's self-confidence so they feel that they can handle the day-to-day emotional changes they experience. It helps them identify the thoughts and feelings they have about themselves that make their life more difficult and allows them to find new ways to reframe those thoughts so that they feel more confident in their abilities and value as a human being. During therapy, DBT clients are often prompted to work out their relationship issues in their personal lives with their therapist. They may even receive homework assignments that encourage them to find healthier ways to interact with others and soothe themselves when upset.

What Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Look Like?

Dialectical behavior therapy techniques are typically taught in a combination of individual therapy and group therapy. Each week, the client will meet with his or her therapist and discuss the previous week's issues. They will discuss what happened, how the client responded, and how the client could have responded in a more appropriate way. During weekly group therapy sessions, the client will join with others who are dealing with the same mental health issues. They all take turns discussing their troubles over the past week and helping each other identify appropriate ways of responding to those situations should they arise in the future.

What Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Teach?

DBT teaches clients four main coping skills.

Confident Woman - Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in Utah

Mindfulness teaches them how to be more thoughtful when faced with a troubling situation. It allows them to address the situation and develop an appropriate response.
Interpersonal problem-solving skills help them evaluate a specific social situation and provide a response that does not harm either party.
Distress tolerance allows them to accept and manage negative experiences in a more healthy manner. They learn crisis solving strategies like distracting, self-soothing, improving the moment, and thinking of pros and cons.
Emotion regulation shows them how to manage extreme emotions by identifying and labeling them, replacing with positive thoughts, and taking the opposite action of how they feel.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Utah

If you or someone you love is struggling to manage their emotions, please reach out to us at Pathways Real Life Recovery. We are a mental health counseling treatment center located in Utah. We break the cycle of guilt and shame, helping our clients to accept where they are, so they can make profound changes in their life. We always treat our clients with love, dignity, and respect.