The Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy DBT & it’s Common Uses

The Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy DBT & it’s Common Uses

As we explore the benefits of DBT, we wanted to go over some of the disorders it’s commonly used to treat. If you struggle with one of the following, DBT may be a great option for you.

Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT was designed specifically for treating people with BPD. BPD is a mental disorder, and the symptoms are extreme mood swings, coupled with troubled relationships, unstable emotions, and self destructive behavior. BPD is often a result of childhood abuse or trauma, and can sometimes be genetic. DBT can be beneficial in helping BPD patients control their emotions, managing their self destructive patterns, and changing unhelpful behaviors. This, in turn, helps lead to healthier relationships.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is often caused by a particular incident, such as an accident, military or first responder roles, physical and/or sexual abuse, terrorist attacks, and fire or natural disasters. One of the most common results of DBT when treating PTSD is mindfulness. Patients are taught how to use mindfulness to identify their triggers in stressful situations, helping them with cues and understanding their feelings in a more rational manner. It is also helpful in teaching the patient how to recognize and resolve conflict with emotional regulation.

Eating Disorders. DBT is a great tool for those struggling with unhealthy eating patterns and distorted body image. By implementing distress tolerance skills, a patient can build up their ability to manage upsetting emotions and difficult situations. Often times, a destructive relationship with food is birthed from poor coping mechanisms in difficult situations, and DBT can help a patient find alternate, healthy ways to deal with their emotions.

Addiction and Substance Abuse. DBT is beneficial for individuals struggling with relapses, as it can help a patient identify the cause, or trigger, of the relapse. By treating the relapse as the problem, and not the patient, a therapist can help a patient separate their view of themselves from the addiction. This can lead to a healthier view of ones self, higher self esteem, and a better understanding of why the relapses occur. An assessment of the events that led to the relapse can help a patient repair broken relationships and help manage emotions and unhealthy behaviors.

Suicidal Ideation. Similar to addiction, DBT directly targets the ideation as the problem to be solved. DBT is used in conjunction with a thorough suicide risk assessment, and can then be used to help a patient monitor their suicidal thoughts and urges. Many therapists implement diaries with their patients during DBT, to keep track of suicidal urges; their frequency, length, and strength. Many sessions will start with asking the patient to share their diary, helping to determine when the suicidal urges are most prevalent, and helping the therapist to intervene when they are at their most extreme. Because suicidal patients view suicide as an answer to their problem, DBT can help the individual identify and implement healthy solutions to the feelings and irrational emotions that they’re facing when dealing with suicidal thoughts.

Depression. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, which leads to low moods and exhaustion. By introducing new coping mechanisms to those struggling with depression,

DBT therapy can be introduced to help combat those things. DBT therapy begins by helping validate a patient’s feelings, building up their self worth, and creating a tolerance for themselves as human beings. Because personal situations can feed depression, DBT in focuses on introducing coping mechanisms to depressed patients, helping them to constructively deal with circumstances that might trigger a depressive episode. Identifying and addressing the negative aspects of ones life can help them effectively deal with them in a healthier way, and through this technique, many patients are able to break free from these negative circumstances completely.

If you’re reading this, and you’re wondering if DBT therapy is the right choice for you, ask yourself these questions:

Do your emotions frequently interfere with your day to day life (school, work, etc)?

Do you have frequent thoughts of self harm?

Do your moods change quickly?

Do you struggle to “move on” from unpleasant experiences?

Do you struggle with an unhealthy relationship with food or addictive substances?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s worth exploring DBT with a qualified and experienced therapist.  We understand these are hard questions to answer. So, you may have questions specific to your circumstance. At Wellness Psychological Services, we offer free brief consultations to answer some of these common questions before a formal intake. Please reach out to us to set up a free consultation with a DBT therapist from our team.

205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 563-1155

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