Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

A Very Brief Overview of DBT Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and, like CBT, DBT is an evidenced-based therapy. This means that it has been subjected to research and found to be effective for some mental health issues, including depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harming, substance abuse, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of DBT is to teach people healthy ways to cope with stress and to regulate their emotions to prevent undesirable reactions.

The dialectical behavioral therapists at Aspen Valley Wellness have received advanced training in this treatment. During individual and group DBT counseling sessions, our professional therapists help clients develop an understanding of DBT and master its concepts and skills. Depending on the client’s treatment goals, DBT may be used by itself or combined with other therapies.  

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in Orem, Utah

Please understand that DBT in a group setting is not for everyone. Established clients of Aspen Valley Wellness must be referred by their current therapist, while new clients should schedule an intake appointment with one of our DBT therapists before attending DBT group.

What we offer is not a complete DBT program, but rather a good program for individuals who need to brush up on their skills and those who wish to add emotional regulation skills to their mental health toolbox.

More About Dialectical Behavioral Therapy *

What does “dialectical” mean? Dialectical is a word that denotes an integration of opposing forces. Things that seem to be opposites yet are both true are dialectics. In other words, dialectics is a balancing of ideas such as others and self, winning and losing, and giving and getting.

In DBT therapy, the ideas of acceptance and change are the opposites that require balancing. The DBT therapist strikes a balance between acceptance of the client and acknowledgement that the client needs to change to reach his or her goals. Skills and strategies are taught to help the client achieve harmony between acceptance and change.

DBT utilizes four skills modules: two sets of acceptance-oriented skills (mindfulness and distress tolerance) and two sets of change-oriented skills (emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness).

Acceptance-oriented skills:

  • Mindfulness means being fully present in the moment, allowing the individual to stay in balance, remain nonjudgmental and act effectively.
  • Distress tolerance means accepting pain — not changing it — in difficult situations, so the client learns to handle stress and crises in smarter ways.

Change-oriented skills:

  • Emotional regulation refers to changing some emotions so that the individual learns impulse control. It involves tolerating and coping with emotions, impulses and cravings without automatically acting on them.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness teaches the client how to ask for things or say no while keeping his or her self-respect and relationships with others intact. It is a balancing act among commitment to relationships, devotion to self and the ability to communicate effectively.

* Source: http://ictutah.org/dialecticalbehaviortherapy.html

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