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Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)?

Marsha M. Linehan, a psychologist at the university of Washington, developed DBT in the 1980’s to address the aspects she believed to be lacking in cognitive behavioural therapy, of simply accepting painful emotions without trying to change them or judge them. By examining and validating these negative emotions and behaviours, clients can then move forward with other forms of therapy such as CBT.

DBT is also structured and goal oriented like CBT, but aids clients in dealing with stress in healthier ways, therefore offering the ability to remain in control, and focuses on the psychosocial aspects of treatment.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is one of many types of cognitive behavioral therapy. One of it’s goals includes educating clients on how they can adapt new healthier behaviour patterns and regulate one’s emotions, subsequently resulting in improving relationships with others.

This type of therapy was originally intended for clients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), but recently has been modified and found effective in treating other mental health disorders and illnesses. Of particular note, conditions where a person is struggling with emotional regulation or possible self-destructive behavior patterns such as eating disorders and mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, and substance misuse. DBT is also effective in treating clients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

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