Dialectic behavioral therapy involves psychotherapy between a client and a group of therapists. It is commonly used to treat high-risk patients who have multiple symptoms, such as suicidal thoughts and behaviors. While it was originally created to address suicidal thoughts, it has been used to treat other issues as well, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. Studies have shown that dialectical behavioral therapy reduces the likelihood of attempting suicide, and improves the suicidal attitude of patients.
Developed in the 1980s by Marsha Linehan, dialectical behavior therapy aims to teach clients how to cope with intense negative emotions. Research has shown that the same situation can elicit intense emotional reactions in some people while causing no reactions in others. It is believed that this lack of emotional regulation is the root cause of many mental disorders, including borderline personality disorder (BPD).
The fundamental principle of DBT is the balancing of opposites. The philosophy behind it is based on dialectics, which holds that all things are composed of opposites. When one contrasting force becomes stronger, change takes place. This posits that the opposing force is inherently incomplete and is constantly synthesized. Similarly, DBT requires the patient and therapist to work through the apparent contradiction between change and self-acceptance.
Dialectic behavioral therapy focuses on improving an individual’s interpersonal effectiveness, which helps them develop effective relationships and handle conflict. This includes teaching the client to be more effective with others, such as by setting boundaries, respecting others, and negotiating with others. The dialectical approach to CBT includes consultation check-ins with therapists. The goal is to improve a client’s quality of life and make them feel better about themselves.
Dialectic behavioral therapy can be difficult to navigate, but it can be a highly effective addiction treatment. It focuses on four principles, and is an effective tool for treating addiction. The four main principles of dialectical behavioral therapy are described below. When selecting a therapist, make sure to choose one with a broad training in this area. You should also look for someone who is qualified and has extensive experience in the field of substance abuse.
The third function of DBT is to increase motivation and reduce dysfunctional behaviors. The therapist and patient work together to learn new responses to specific situations. During the course of a DBT treatment, the client completes a self-monitoring form, known as a “diary card,” to track their progress. These forms are often used in conjunction with multiple treatments. If your client is not getting the desired results, you may consider other treatment programs.
In a randomized controlled trial of DBT for borderline personality disorder, the results were impressive. The patients improved significantly in self-injurious behaviors, hospital stays, psychopathology, and inpatient hospitalization. After a year of therapy, 77% of patients no longer met the criteria for BPD diagnosis. In addition, those therapists who worked in a team reduced the number of patients who dropped out of the therapy. Overall, the results of DBT for BPD are comparable to other effectiveness studies, including those with multiple diagnoses.