What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
| Staff Writers
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that identifies the reasons why some individuals might have more intense reactions to familial or romantic situations. The theory behind this unique approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy is that some individuals may reach higher arousal levels than others or may achieve a high level of arousal more quickly than the ordinary person. This can be a symptom of borderline personality disorder and individuals diagnosed with this condition also may require more time to reach a calming state once their are stimulated after an emotional situation. The same characteristics are commonly found in those who suffer from substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.
DBT has become an effective method for treating individuals with borderline personality disorder because it helps teaches effective skills that are necessary to deal with an intense flood of emotions. Learn more about the components of DBT and the characteristics of this type of treatment to learn how it differs from other cognitive-behavioral methods of psychotherapy.
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What Are the Characteristics of DBT Treatment Methods?
If a psychologist were to use DBT to treat a personality disorder, it would be because of the unique characteristics of this treatment method. It is best for conditions where patients experience extreme mood swings or lack the ability to cope with intense surges of emotion as they jump from one experience to the next.
DBT will help teach patients the skills that they need to cope with the stimulation and the invalidation because it is support-oriented, cognitive-based, and collaborative. It will help patients identify their own strengths, assumptions that make coping difficult and a new way of thinking that makes life bearable. By giving the patient the attention and encouragement that they need, they will learn to work out their problems.
What Are the Main Components of DBT?
There are four different main components of dialectical behavior psychotherapy treatment. These include: skills training group, individual therapy, phone coaching, and therapy consultation team. During the skills training group, a group leader will teach skills that can be used in daily life. Homework is assigned as practice so that the skills can be developed. In the individual therapy portion of treatment, a psychologist will help the patient apply skills that will help them face challenges specific to their lives.
After individual therapy sessions, it is important that patients have access to their coach to deal with situations as they might present themselves. The patient will call their therapist and then receive the coaching that they need to effectively cope. The therapist will also have access to their own team of providers with whom they can consult with so they remain motivated and competent. This will benefit patients so that those with difficult-to-treat disorders can get the best possible treatment from their therapist.
There are a variety of different types of cognitive and behavioral treatment that can be used help change behaviors for the better. One of the types of therapy designed for clients who might have a poor ability to control strong emotions or who have an emotional vulnerability is Dialectical Behavior Psychotherapy. If you are interested in studying psychology, this is one area of study that you should be familiar with. Be sure to learn about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and the components of this treatment so that you know all of your options.
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