Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an offshoot of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Both are forms of behavioral therapy, which means they target behavior change and spend a lot of time helping clients modify their behavior to produce more positive outcomes concerning mental health or substance abuse. DBT was initially designed to treat borderline personality disorder but has since seen more comprehensive application in treating a host of mental and substance abuse disorders. Still, it is best deployed for people who struggle to regulate their emotions or engage in self-destructive behaviors.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program Techniques
DBT is an evidence-based form of cognitive therapy. It can be applied in a variety of settings. People can receive DBT through individual or group therapy, and even virtual therapy options for DBT are becoming more common.
A few of the most important techniques used in a dialectical behavior therapy program are outlined below.
Mindfulness is often gets associated with holistic, alternative, or integrative medicine. It is often leveraged there alongside other practices like acupuncture or yoga. Yet mindfulness is also a key element of DBT, which emphasizes living in the moment and slowing down to implement healthy coping mechanisms in times of stress or difficult emotions.
The application of distress tolerance during DBT is meant to help clients accept themselves and their current situation. This is particularly true of aspects of their situation that may be beyond their control. Crisis management techniques that are taught as part of distress tolerance include:
- Improving the moment
Examining the pros and cons of not tolerating distress
People receiving DBT often struggle with emotional regulation and engage in self-destructive behaviors. Both of those tend to damage relationships. Thus, making progress means improving a client’s interpersonal effectiveness and ability to communicate with others in healthy ways.
Experiencing strong emotions is a natural part of life. Often, the depth and breadth of emotions someone experiences is influenced by whether or not they have a mental health or substance abuse disorder. The goal of DBT is never to eliminate feelings or tamp them down. Instead, DBT helps people learn how to regulate their emotions and deal with them effectively in times of stress without resorting to destructive or harmful behavior.
Evoke’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program in Massachusetts
The dialectical behavior therapy program at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset works through four stages of treatment. Each step builds upon the previous one, though progress may only sometimes be perfectly linear. Setbacks during DBT can occur. Nonetheless, with dedication and commitment to treatment, clients can progress through each stage and experience enormous benefits in their lives.
Stage 1 focuses on addressing the most severe or damaging behaviors that impede a person’s life. This could be self-harm, suicidal ideation, or excessive drug use. Once those behaviors are more under control, Stage 2 focuses on addressing broader quality of life concerns. These often relate to the techniques described above, such as distress tolerance, emotional regulation skills, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Stage 3 emphasizes developing positive self-esteem and repairing relationships damaged by a person’s past struggles. Finally, Stage 4 prioritizes helping people maximize their lives by setting goals, restoring relationships, and establishing healthy lifestyle habits.
Access DBT in Massachusetts at Evoke
Find high-quality DBT programming at Evoke, Massachusetts. Our dialectical behavior therapy program can treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and depression.
Now is the time to take your healing seriously by accessing professional help. Call Evoke Wellness at Cohasset today at 866.931.6429 to learn more about our DBT services in Massachusetts.