Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy aimed at helping individuals manage overwhelming emotions. DBT incorporates the elements of:
1. Distress Tolerance
3. Emotional Regulation, and
4. Interpersonal effectiveness.
DBT incorporates a strong emphasis on validation; a powerful tool whereby both the therapist and individual work on “accepting” uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and behaviors rather than struggling with them. Once an identified thought, emotion or behavior has been validated, the process of change no longer appears impossible, and the goals of gradual transformation become reality. The term dialectics refers to the therapist’s goal of establishing a balance between acceptance and change and effectively integrating these two fundamental principles of successful therapy. As part of the skills-based element of DBT, emphasis is often placed on the development of mindfulness practice and other relaxation techniques. Through this practice, an individual develops the ability to accept distressing thoughts without self-criticism and to tolerate self-destructive urges without acting upon them.