The Importance of DBT in Treating Mental Health Disorders

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is one of the most effective treatments for mental health disorders including Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Depression. It’s also one of the most misunderstood therapies available to those who need it most. If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing therapy and how it can help you manage your mental health disorders or other problems that negatively impact your life, here are three things you should know about DBT and its effectiveness in treating mental health disorders.

Benefits of DBT

DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, and has been proven to be one of the most effective treatments for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It is a type of psychotherapy that emphasises validation, mindfulness, emotional regulation skills, distress tolerance skills and interpersonal effectiveness. 

DBT can teach us how to challenge our own thoughts about our experience with the world. We are not just simply receiving stimuli from our environment–we choose what to pay attention to based on the thoughts we have. With this approach we can be aware of the things that push our buttons and challenge negative self-talk. When we start noticing these things it can help us re-evaluate patterns and engage more positively in life.

How to Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is defined as the moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and surrounding environment, characterised mainly by a non-judgmental attitude. Mindfulness can be practiced by focusing on one’s breathing. One way to become mindful is to focus all attention on breath—both the inhalation and exhalation. Slow your breaths down from 12 per minute to 4 per minute or even just 1 or 2 per minute.

Hold for two seconds before letting it out.

How to Use CBT

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is one form of psychotherapy that helps treat a wide range of mental health disorders by changing the way we think and behave. CBT can also teach us new ways to cope with difficult situations and stressful symptoms. One major form of CBT is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).

Tips on Coping With Anger

Taking time to calm down, listening to calming music, going for a walk, meditating or deep breathing can all help if you have anger building up. Setting some ground rules and boundaries on what makes you angry can also make a difference – this may not be realistic for everyone but it’s worth trying. Pacing is another helpful strategy that can work for both anger and anxiety. Take a minute at the start of an interaction or event to think about your feelings and how the situation might make you feel.

Emotional Regulation

One key principle from this therapy is the idea that everyone will experience difficulty regulating their emotions at some point or another. A common misconception is that people with mental health disorders have much more difficulty regulating emotions than those without them, but in reality, all humans experience problems regulating their emotions.  The only difference is that a person with a mental health disorder has learned to regulate their emotions differently and relies on maladaptive coping skills like avoidance and denial to manage feelings.