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What is DBT?

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a type of talking therapy that helps people who feel emotions very intensely. It’s based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but it’s specially adapted for people who feel emotions very intensely.

  • Understand and accept your difficult feelings.

  • Learn skills to manage these feelings.

  • Become able to make positive changes in your life.


Uses for DBT

DBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions.

In addition to depression or anxiety disorders, DBT can also help people with:

  • DBT might also be an effective treatment for

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

  • Eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa)

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

  • Major depressive disorder (including treatment-resistant major depression and chronic depression)

  • Non-suicidal self-injury

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Substance use disorder.

  • Suicidal behaviour



What is included in DBT sessions?


Mindfulness - mindfulness is to teach the individual to be focused on the present moment and feel grounded

Emotional regulation - This helps people to learn how to manage their difficult emotions.

Distress tolerance - This helps individuals think about some of the helpful things they can do to manage their behaviour and emotions.

Interpersonal effectiveness – This helps individuals to communicate in healthy and respectable ways.


DBT Benefits

Clients can detect when harmful behaviour patterns threaten to occur and should be able to change these with healthier ones.

Cognitive changes including the change of negative thoughts and beliefs about the self.

The acknowledgement that some situations cannot be controlled but can be responded to in healthy ways.

Discovering new healthy methods of coping with distress.

Being able to communicate better with others resulting in healthier relationships.

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