Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in Fort Pierce, FL

Millions of people in the United States live with the symptoms of a mental health disorder. There are effective treatments that can help people manage their symptoms and improve functioning.

Effective treatments for mental health conditions include medications, talk therapy, and lifestyle changes. People with mental health disorders must work with a licensed professional to determine which therapies are right for them. 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of talk therapy that can help people with certain mental health conditions. This article will explore how DBT works and when it may be helpful during mental health treatment. You will learn:

  • The techniques of DBT
  • What conditions DBT may help
  • What to expect during DBT sessions
  • Where to find DBT in Fort Pierce

If you or someone you love lives with a mental health condition, evidence-based treatment can help you manage your symptoms. Getting treatment can also improve your overall well-being. Reach out to the compassionate specialists at Agape Behavioral to learn about our holistic programs. You may also ask questions or schedule an appointment. 

What is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of talk therapy. It is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The primary goal of CBT is to help people identify and change negative patterns of thoughts and behaviors. 

DBT uses many of the same techniques, plus additional techniques. This therapeutic approach can help people accept themselves without judgment. It also focuses on helping people identify and change unhealthy behaviors.

Mental health practitioners began using DBT techniques in the 1970s. They found that learning DBT skills could help people with certain mental health conditions improve their quality of life.

Some of the conditions DBT skills may help include:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Substance use disorder (SUD)

Mental health practitioners use dialectical behavior therapy to treat people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This therapy may be helpful for anyone who struggles with negative thoughts, emotional regulation, or harmful behaviors. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT Techniques: An Overview

Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on teaching new skills that can help people improve their functioning. Here is an overview of the skills training people learn in DBT. 

Distress tolerance

DBT focuses on helping people develop a higher tolerance to stress and discomfort. Learning how to manage intense emotional discomfort can reduce impulsive or harmful behaviors. These include substance use or self-injury. 

Emotional regulation skills

DBT includes learning to identify emotions. Learning to recognize emotions can help people gain more control over them. 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves learning to stay grounded in the present moment. Instead of worrying about the future or fixating on the past, people develop the ability to focus on what is happening in the current moment. 

Interpersonal effectiveness

In DBT, people learn skills that enable them to have healthier relationships with others. These may include setting boundaries, managing conflicts, and clearly communicating needs and wants. 

Dialectical behavior therapy also helps people to know and accept themselves. People learn how to think about their thoughts and actions without judgment. Then, people work toward meaningful changes. These changes may include managing stress instead of avoiding it or replacing negative thoughts with helpful ones. 

What to Expect in DBT

Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of talk therapy. However, there is more to it than simply talking to a therapist. Here is a brief overview of what the process of DBT may be like. 

Pre-assessment

Before starting DBT, you will meet with a therapist for an assessment. The therapist will get to know you and your needs. If the therapist believes DBT might be helpful, they will explain the next steps. 

Individual therapy

You will likely attend weekly DBT sessions with your therapist. Sessions are typically 45 minutes to an hour. During sessions, you will discuss your goals and anything that keeps you from reaching them. 

Group sessions

Weekly group meetings are typical in DBT. Unlike other types of support groups, you will spend most of your time learning new coping skills and working on DBT skills. People in group sessions may use role-playing or other group exercises to practice skills. 

Phone coaching

Your therapist may suggest quick phone calls (5 to 15 minutes) if you need additional support between DBT sessions. Phone coaching can help you process emotions and get support during crises. 

Dialectical behavior therapy can help you manage your emotions and have better relationships. Contact the Agape Behavioral specialists to learn more about DBT or other types of mental health treatment. 

What to Expect in DBT

Find DBT in Fort Pierce

If you or someone you love lives with a mental health condition, contact the caring specialists at Agape Behavioral. Our dedicated mental health professionals will work with you to address your specific concerns. We will design a treatment program to help you reach your goals. 

Contact the intake staff at Agape Behavioral to learn more about our holistic mental health treatment programs. You may also schedule an intake appointment. 

References:

  1. The American Journal of Psychotherapy: The Course and Evolution of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH): Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  3. Science Direct: Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  4. National Institute of Mental Health: Improved Emotion Regulation in Dialectical Behavior Therapy Reduces Suicide Risk in Youth

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