Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy primarily developed to treat individuals with emotional regulation disorders, often observed in patients with borderline personality disorder. It combines elements of behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing negative behaviors, with elements of therapy based on acceptance and mindfulness. The goal of DBT is to assist patients in better understanding and accepting their emotions, and in learning healthy ways of coping with difficult life situations.
The foundation of DBT is the development of four key skills: mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. Mindfulness helps to focus on the present and accept one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment. Emotional regulation involves understanding and reducing emotional fluctuations. Distress tolerance teaches how to cope with difficult emotions without avoiding them. Interpersonal effectiveness aids in building healthy relationships with others.
DBT therapy is usually conducted in two formats: individual sessions and group skills training sessions. Individual sessions focus on specific problems and therapeutic progress of the patient, while skills training teaches practical ways of applying DBT principles in everyday life. This therapy is particularly effective for individuals who experience intense emotions and have difficulty regulating them.