Is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy The Best Option For You?

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Dialectical Behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy or talk therapy used to treat a range of mental disorders. It was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder. It focuses on individual therapy and tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns by focusing on building positive behavioral skills. Before considering this therapy it’s important to understand how it works, as it may not be the best option for everyone.

Marsha M. Linehan,a psychologist, and author created dialectical behavioral therapy or DBT by adjoining psychotherapy with concepts of mindfulness and acceptance. During the early years of her life, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia she also dealt with suicidal behavior, and even though not diagnosed with it she believed she had Borderline Personality Disorder. She realized one important thing during her years of working as a psychologist and it was that in order to lead a happy and meaningful life people need to accept things the way they are.

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What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is used for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, however, it is also used to treat other disorders like substance abuse or eating disorders. DBT uses many different techniques and strategies that help improve coping and regulation of emotions, and mindfulness skills. DBT also helps reduce suicidal tendencies, Marsha- the creator of DBT, suffered from DBT and hence the research is more significant. Biosocial theory of mental illness- the theory of how symptoms arise- is what DBT is based upon and it’s the first therapy that has been experimentally demonstrated and effective in treating BPT. A meta-analysis found that DBT reached moderate effects in individuals with BPD.

Dialectical Behavior therapy works better for the people who are more emotional or are more empathetic. As this therapy is more tilted towards understanding and building a way to cope with your emotions, people who have a dreamy side are more inclined to work on themselves than practical people who use the logic oriented parts of their brains.

What are the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Techniques?

MINDFULNESS is the core idea behind all concepts of DBT. It helps people/an individual accept emotions and tolerate strong feelings in the most effective manner. This does not involve religious metaphysical concepts at all, it’s about the ability to pay attention and be present. This idea heavily relies on ‘radical acceptance’ and causes less distress overall, resulting in less discomfort overall and less symptomatology.

EMOTION REGULATION: People dealing with BPT, suicidal and other tendencies always have intense emotions and feelings. They can feel anger, sadness, anxiety, and many more intensely which makes it hard for them to regulate emotions. This step helps them regulate emotions

  • Identify and label emotions
  • Identify obstacles
  • Reduce vulnerability
  • Apply distress tolerance techniques


When dealing with the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, serious illness, and other traumatic events people get a lot of stress and often fail to manage a balance and get stressed. In BPT the patients have to work with the ability to accept, in a non-evaluative and nonjudgmental fashion, both themselves and the current situation. The goal is to become capable of calmly recognizing negative situations and their impact, rather than becoming overwhelmed or hiding from them.


DBT focuses on these three skills: assertiveness, treating others with care, and self-respect. These skills help people gain validation and respect and confidence. These skills help them in a lot of ways namely :

  • Learning how to ask for what you want and taking steps to get it.
  • Learning how to work through conflict and challenges in relationships.
  • Building greater respect for yourself

What kind of mental health issues does Dialectical Behavior Therapy(DBT) treat?

DBT treats :

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Personality Disorder
  • Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self harm
  • Substance Abuse
  • More for emotional people ,more dreamy vs more practical people.
  • Factitious Disorder (Munchausen Syndrome) Factitious disorder is a serious mental disorder in which someone deceives others by appearing sick, by purposely getting sick or by self-injury.
  • Stealing

What are the Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy(DBT)?

  1. Not only does DBT develop better interpersonal relationships but also improves the quality of life.
  2. Aimed to improve symptoms in an unhealthy individual and provide a safe space.
  3. Research links mindfulness to many other aspects of health and wellbeing. Once you have learned this skill, it can help in many aspects of life.
  4. By making correct changes to life DBT helps gain healthy well-being.
  5. Helps reduce suicidal thoughts in many people.
  6. Allows people to work more productively and maintain a positive look.
  7. Self harm : People who suffer through mental illnesses often self harm due to urges and discrepancies in their lives, DBT helps reduce self harm and avoid relapse into such situations as well.


1. What is the main goal of dialectical behavioral therapy?

Marsha M. Linehan the creator of DBT was driven by a mission to rescue people who are chronically suicidal, often as a result of borderline personality disorder, an enigmatic condition characterized in part by self-destructive urge. New goals

2. Who does DBT not work for? Can everyone benefit from DBT?

Individuals with intense emotions and extreme schizophrenia. Dialectical Behavior therapy works better for the people who are more emotional or are more empathetic. As this therapy is more tilted towards understanding and building a way to cope with your emotions, people who have a dreamy side are more inclined to work on themselves than practical people who use the logic oriented parts of their brains.


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