Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) was initially developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan for people who suffered from personality disorders, particularly borderline personality disorder.  DBT is not about insight, or delving into your past. It is a collection of very practical skills to help you better manage your emotions, your interpersonal relationships, and hence your life. The basis of all these skills is the practice of mindfulness, taken from Buddhism. Mindfulness means the state of mind that allow you to be completely immersed in the present situation, rather than in the past or in fantasy. None of these skills are innovative; but sometimes, while contending with life’s difficulties we need to be reminded of skills that may seem obvious or almost trivial.

Many types of therapy claim that our mental health is best served by getting in touch and experiencing our emotions to the fullest. While this approach is often effective and serves many people well, DBT takes an alternative approach. DBT tries to teach us to regulate our emotions in order to better cope with everyday life. I find this approach very helpful for people that struggle with clinical depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or even people who struggle with anger management issues,  and struggle to go through the day. Only after the depression and anxiety get somewhat under control, a person would have enough energy and inner resources to delve in  and benefit from insight oriented therapy.

In my opinion, these skills are useful for everyone of us. The following link will provide you with handouts. The best way to learn these skills would be in a therapeutic group or in individual therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy .

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