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How Effective is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is very useful for myriad mental health conditions. There are a number of different therapies associated with cognitive behavioral therapy, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This process is intended to identify any negative thinking patterns that are present and change them in a more positive way. This therapy option is used to treat patients who are suffering from a self-destructive behavior or thought process whether it be suicidal tendencies, reckless promiscuity, self-harm, and more.

Defining Dialectical Behavior Therapy

When you bring together two different focuses in therapy this is considered to be dialectal. In this situation, the two opposites are acceptance and change. Utilizing either of these processes alone can be effective, but more so when they are together. A number of different things occur during this therapy that can include working with a mental health professional on an individual basis. There are also group skills training that can take place. Additional support may be offered by phone or by email if need be.

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When the plan that is put in place is followed correctly, this form of therapy can be very effective. Often, patients are given some homework to do at home in order to test their coping techniques and try out what they have learned. They may be asked to put themselves into a difficult situation, to acknowledge how they feel and to use coping mechanisms. There are many different emotions that need to be acknowledged to truly understand a mental health condition that is self-deprecating. Lying, hate, self-harm, disrespect, etc. may be tough to treat but it can be done. Impulsive behaviors like substance or drug abuse can lead to some pretty serious consequences like homelessness and legal troubles. The American Psychiatric Association endorses this form of therapy as an effective treatment option that many people have used to their benefit.

What Conditions Can This Therapy Work For?

This form of therapy works for higher risk patients who might not respond well to typical therapy. Patients who have been diagnosed with something like borderline personality disorder or suicidal tendencies can benefit. Also, patients with a severe eating disorder can benefit. Whenever somebody's safety is at risk it is important to seek help in order to save a marriage, a relationship with a child, a job, etc. Anger management is also an aspect of this therapy. The end result tends to be less frequent hospitalizations, less likely to drop out of current therapy and fewer outbursts of negative behavior.

It is important for patients to learn how to properly acknowledge their negative behaviors and cope with their issues differently in a way that will benefit them. Dialectical Behavior Therapy teaches them to do just that.

Source: PsychCentral