What is DBT?
Originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment designed to help people “Build a Life Worth Living.” I believe that the treatment can help people build a “life of worth,” where they can overcome difficulties to build the authentic, effective self.
DBT incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy with the contemplative practices of mindfulness to teach problem-solving skills that help bring about change. Originally developed to treat clients with borderline personality disorder, DBT has been used successfully with people with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, among other conditions.
People often come to DBT having black or white thinking, seeing things as either/or. This cognitive lens can leave people feeling stuck or hopeless. Dialectics involves learning how to accept the ambiguousness of situations, to tolerate the gray space. Through DBT, people find the synthesis of two conflicting positions. This integration opens up the possibilities for further development and can lead to feelings of hope and the ability to develop.
DBT offers four main capacities to bring about change:
Mindfulness (Being in the moment, using your most wise self, combining your thoughts, feelings, and actions to make good decisions that propel your life forward).
Interpersonal Effectiveness (Working with others to get what you want and say no to what you don’t, while developing high-quality relationships and improving your self-respect).
Emotion Regulation (Learning how to develop positive emotions and process negative emotions so that they are not so painful).
Distress Tolerance (Learning how to handle bad situations so you can take care of yourself with positive experiences).
DBT in New York City offers a tremendous opportunity to learn skills. Becoming more skillful at problem-solving to build a life of worth is the aim of therapy. You can learn to develop on professional, social, and personal levels. Rid yourself of unhelpful behaviors and replace them with more effective ones. Increase your potential for better outcomes. You can develop your full identity, improve social growth, and achieve more on academic, professional, and personal levels.