Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectal behavior therapy was originally developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder. It emphasizes the psychosocial aspect behind treatment. The theory is that some people are more prone to react to certain situations in a more intense, highly emotional way than others and it takes them longer to return to a baseline mood level. It combines cognitive behavioral techniques with ideas from Eastern Religions like Buddhism (i.e. tolerance, acceptance, and, especially mindfulness).

What is the cognitive-behavioral portion of dialectal behavior therapy?

The cognitive behavior therapy aspect of dialectal behavior therapy is based on the idea that certain behavior is encouraged by reward and diminished by punishment. Dialectal behavior therapy focuses on changing a patient’s behavior can change the way they are feeling. Dialectal behavioral therapy concentrates on helping a person develop coping mechanisms. This type of therapy helps the patient develop tools that can help them deal with stressful or emotionally charged situations.

Dialectal behavior therapy also allows us to examine our cognition, which is the way we think. Often the way we think about certain behaviors or situation is influenced by our past and our environment. Certain family aspects play a part in how we think, as do experiences and trauma. Sometimes we have automatic thoughts that cause anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions. Dialectal behavior therapy works by having us examine the way we think and how we can change the way we think. It allows us to recognize negative cognitions and their effects, which can help us change them

What is mindfulness in the practice of dialectal behavior therapy?

Practicing awareness or mindfulness is a big part of why dialectal behavioral therapy works. The practice of mindfulness has been shown to increase overall happiness. It also allows the patient to recognize core experiences. An example of a core experience is a person that was not shown physical affection as a child. They may develop a core belief that it is not safe to allow physical intimacy. Mindfulness allows them to connect with the core experience and recognize the way that it has shaped their life in the present. When we are truly connected with a core experience, we begin to change the way we think about situations as a result of that core experience. Insight that comes from introspection allows you to change old patterns of behavior. Outside of therapy, few people take the time to really think about the way they behave.

Characteristics of dialectal behavior therapy

Support-oriented:  Dialectal behavior therapy focuses on your strength and allows you to build self-esteem through that process.

Cognitive-based:  Dialectal behavior therapy focuses on the process of cognition and the changing of long-held belief systems that are not helpful to us

Collaborative:  Dialectal behavior therapy aims to have you view and interact with your therapist in a cooperative, collaborative manner. It requires constant attention to the relationship between client and staff. The client and therapist must work together to make the necessary changes, and they must be on the same team.