Wellin5's blog explaining Dialectic Behavioural Therapy. Located in Vancouver, BC

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?(DBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy falls under the umbrella of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: a form of forms of treatment that’s shown to be effective for a wide range of mood and mental health disorders. With practice and incorporation into daily life, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy teaches patients how to identify and change negative thought patterns to lean more positively. The goal is to improve overall wellbeing and the ability to handle distress. 

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy definition and uses

The main goal of DBT is to bring together acceptance and change to improve mental health. This form of therapy, counsellors focus on the patient’s unique experience to address the thought patterns that lead to distress. To get there, patients are taught 5 different techniques to improve distress tolerance:

  • Distraction: Taking the mind off the distressing event. 
  • Radical acceptance: Accepting things as they are without trying to control or change anything.
  • Improving the moment: Making a situation tolerable through visualization, positive thinking, or taking a break. 
  • Pros and cons: Looking at the benefits and downfalls of tolerating compared to not tolerating an uncomfortable feeling.
  • Self-soothing: Tapping into the 5 senses to boost mindfulness and soothe distress. 

Patients who practise DBT:

  • Develop the skills to regulate emotions
  • Learn to better deal with stress
  • Strengthen relationships 
  • Anchor to the present moment with mindfulness
  • Strengthen the ability to handle a crisis with distress tolerance

Over time, patients learn to view their experiences in a more positive light and have better tolerance towards negative thoughts, feelings, and events. As a result, boosting resilience. 

Who is a candidate for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy? 

DBT was originally developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. But today, it’s been expanded to treat other mental health disorders that affect emotional regulation, relationships, self-destructive behaviour, and overall wellbeing. DBT can be effective in treating: 

DBT for positive change

With guidance from a counsellor, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy allows patients to reframe their experiences, tackle challenges more effectively, and improve tolerance of negative feelings. Wondering if DBT is right for you? It’s important to speak to a mental health professional who can evaluate your symptoms and goals. Wellin5’s team of counsellors can help you address your unique needs. Begin your mental health journey today. Get started.