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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? 

    Have you ever heard about the term “dialectical behavior therapy”? If your answer is “no”, this guide will help you know and deeply this term. Let’s start with its introduction. 


    Dialectical Behavior Therapy


    DBT emotional regulation (DBT) is evidence-based psychotherapy (a therapy that uses a set of psychological methods to help a patient change behavior and overcome problems). This psychotherapy is effective to treat certain personality and mood disorders, including borderline personality disorder, mood disorder, and suicidal ideation. Apart from this, there is evidence that this therapy is effective to treat certain behavioral patterns, including self-harm and substance abuse. 


    Unlike traditional therapies, DBT is a skill-oriented therapy, which means it helps patients to learn valuable skills and techniques to combat their problems.


    Four Modules of DBT


    The DBT process is aimed at four specific sets of skills, which are known as modules. These modules are taught during dialectical behavior therapy to strengthen patients to combat their problems and everyday life issues boldly. 


    The DBT modules include:


    Mindfulness Skills- Mindfulness is the foundation for the other skills and modules taught in a DBT process. This module helps individuals accept and tolerate their strong emotions they may feel while facing their problems. 


    In this module, individuals learn to observe, describe, and participate in thoughts, emotions, and sensations nonjudgmentally. This involves mindfulness and meditative exercises. This module is mainly aimed at the principle of acceptance (sometimes known as radical acceptance). 


    Emotion Regulation Skills- Emotion Regulation DBT practice is specifically for those individuals who suffer from borderline personality disorder and suicidal ideation. Those individuals can experience anger, frustration, depression, and anxiety while facing their problems. Emotions regulations skills help them regulate their emotions in a better way. This includes: 


    • Identify emotions 
    • Identify barriers to changing emotions 
    • Decrease vulnerability to emotion
    • Implement distress tolerance techniques
    • Increase positive emotional events 
    • Increase mindfulness 


    While practicing and learning this module, individuals learn:


    • How to recognize and name the emotions
    • How to change unwanted emotions 
    • How to reduce vulnerability to emotions
    • And how to mindfulness skills to their current emotions


    Distress Tolerance Skills- Individuals with dramatic mood swings and unstable behavior can’t handle their emotions and reaction to distress situations, such as loss of a job, serious illness, and the death of a loved one. Distress tolerance skills are specifically designed for these individuals. 


    In this module, they learn boldly accepting and tolerating distress situations. The specialists use various psychotherapy techniques (such as TIP, ACCEPTS, and IMPROVE) to teach them accepting and tolerating distress situations. 


    Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills- The interpersonal skills and techniques taught in this module are very similar to those taught in interpersonal problem-solving classes. In this module, specialists use various psychotherapy techniques (such as DEAR MAN, GIVE, FAST) to help individuals to learn to assert their needs and cope with their interpersonal conflicts. This set of skills are effective and useful for individuals with a borderline personality disorder. 




    Dialectical behavior therapy is effective to help individuals combat their problems using DBT skills and techniques and overcome all those as soon as possible. If you or someone in your family have been suffering from a borderline personality disorder, mood disorder, and suicidal ideation, you must approach a comprehensive treatment center to learn and practice DBT skills.