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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a particular type of talk therapy we use at Origins Counseling for people prone to intense experiences of emotions. DBT is used often with people with borderline personality disorder and other mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders such as bulimia and binge-eating. For patients who struggle with self-harming behaviors such as cutting or substance use disorders, DBT can be particularly effective.

Therapist taking notes during session with patient.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy where you learn to understand how thoughts affect your behaviors, “dialectical” means combining opposite ideas. DBT focuses on helping you accept the reality of your life while also learning how to change behaviors that are not helpful, which can assist you in changing your life for the better.

At Origins Counseling, we know that dialectical behavior therapy is particularly effective in treating mental health disorders, especially those resulting from unhealthy efforts to control intense, negative emotions. Success with DBT can lead to less self-harming behavior and anger, less substance use, improved depressive symptoms, and fewer days of hospitalization as an inpatient.

Your DBT-trained therapist will help you find a balance between accepting who you are, your challenges, and the benefits of change. Rather than depending on efforts that cause your problems, you will learn new skills that translate into healthier ways to cope. Along the way, you will discover tools to improve emotion regulation.

What to Expect With Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Origins Counseling’s DBT sessions may be one-on-one or in group settings. Generally, sessions are weekly and last about 40-60 minutes. You’ll learn ways to reduce suicidal and self-harming behaviors and other behaviors that hamper you from achieving the most from therapy. You’ll identify things blocking your progress, such as relationship issues, as you discover ways to reach your personal goals. You’ll also learn new skills to replace unhelpful behaviors.

Your DBT-trained therapist may ask you to keep a journal to track your emotions and actions, and together you will begin to look for patterns in your behavior. As you progress, the dialectical behavior therapy skills you’ll learn at Origins Counseling will help enhance your capabilities in your daily life.

 

Skills Your Therapist Will Teach You

There are several skills your therapist will teach you. Many will likely include mindfulness techniques to help you become fully aware and focused on the present rather than worrying about the past or future. You’ll also learn distress tolerance, which is a way to understand your emotions in particularly stressful situations and respond to the difficulty at hand without harmful behaviors. You’ll learn how to set effective interpersonal boundaries for yourself and others while experimenting with ways to state your needs and maintain your self-respect.

Additionally, emotional regulation will be a big part of what you’ll work on with your therapist.

 

DBT Often Involves Crisis Coaching

For example, you will know you can call your therapist at certain times for support between sessions, such as when you are in a crisis and contemplating self-harm. Or you can call during an agreed-upon time of day when you are practicing some of your DBT skills and need some extra guidance.

At Origins Counseling, we understand participating in DBT can be very difficult. But if you are committed to doing the hard work of therapy and making positive changes, you will experience success. Doing your homework, focusing more on the present and future than the past, and trying group sessions will enhance your success.

We also want you to know that dialectical behavior therapy is generally a slower process than CBT and usually takes at least six months to a year. Everyone is unique, and mental health disorders are complex. Treating borderline personality disorder can take several years, so try not to get discouraged. All progress with addressing your mental health is good progress.

 

Insurance Accepted – In-network with BCBS

While recovery from drugs and alcohol can seem impossible, we know that there is a solution. Our team provides renowned clinical care for addiction—and our Admissions Specialists are standing by to help. Call us today.

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Address: 12870 Hillcrest RD Suite H226
Dallas, Texas 75230

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