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October 24, 2023

What Makes Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) So Effective?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective across several clinical industries. It is a productive way to address challenging behaviors and help people work through them. While we can repeat that this form of therapy is very effective, the question still remains: what makes DBT so effective? DBT can be helpful in the healing process of a number of disorders. Not only does it help patients internally, but it is also valuable for social wellness. Continue reading to learn more about DBT and why it is such a powerful form of therapy.

What Is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of therapy that is derived from the more common cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While DBT borrows many practices from CBT, there is one thing that sets the two apart significantly. Dialectical behavior therapy was designed for people with intense emotional experiences. It was developed in the 1980s as a treatment for borderline personality disorder. Since then, it has become a key treatment for other conditions.

Dialectical behavior therapy is specifically designed for those who have a challenging time with behavior management and regulation. DBT is generally recommended for people with the following conditions:

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm and suicidal behaviors
  • Depression and anxiety

During treatment, therapists attempt to find a balance between accepting one’s self and the benefits of change. The end goal is to improve emotional regulation through new skills. After the treatment plan is completed, success is measured with the following criteria:

  • Decrease in self-harming behaviors
  • Better emotional regulation and anger management
  • Decrease in inpatient hospitalization
  • Decreased drug and alcohol misuse

The effectiveness of DBT is dependent on each person and their goals. However, those who thrive with this form of therapy see exceptional results.

How Does It Work?

DBT is centered around four key aspects. Although treatment is highly structured, it varies by person. These are the four skills that every person learns in dialectical behavior therapy.

Mindfulness: One of the first ways that a therapist will promote wellness is through mindfulness. This involves becoming aware of one’s thoughts, actions, and emotions so they can successfully work through them down the line.

Distress Tolerance: With this skill, individuals learn how to cope in moments of distress. When situations become challenging, it can be hard to accept them and let go. They might feel the urge to react in a way that is not beneficial to their healing. For this reason, DBT aims to make distress tolerance a significant factor.

Emotional Regulation: Patients typically have trouble with emotional regulation when they begin treatment. This principle helps them regulate and identify emotions and find different ways to cope with them.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: Interpersonal effectiveness refers to the ways in which a person communicates with others. Whether they need to be kinder with their words or learn to establish healthy boundaries, the therapist will dive deeper to understand their current communication habits and improve them.

Who Does DBT Help?

While DBT is a common and effective form of therapy, it is most suitable for certain conditions. Here are a few.

Borderline Personality Disorder

As mentioned previously, DBT was initially used as a treatment method for borderline personality disorder (BPD). This is a condition in which a person experiences extreme emotions. The person generally has difficulty managing emotions and behavior, trouble with self-image, and a pattern of unstable relationships.

With BPD, dialectical behavior therapy is used to manage these symptoms, especially in cases where the person with BPD also self-harms.

Eating Disorders

In eating disorder treatment, DBT is used to manage the individual’s extreme emotions when it comes to eating. DBT is most commonly used for patients with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder.

Depression and Anxiety

When patients with depression and anxiety struggle to manage their emotions and communicate with others, dialectical behavior therapy may be suggested to them. In treatment, each of these issues is addressed separately, and patients are encouraged to develop alternate coping strategies.

Why Is It So Effective?

DBT is highly effective because of its structure. Because handling such diverse and intense behaviors leaves little room for error, those who are trained in DBT are often very strict in their approach. Like other therapies, DBT is individualized. Therefore, the treatment for each person varies slightly, with only one thing remaining: the structure.

The end results of this type of therapy are also impactful in a number of different ways. Here are a few ways that DBT is beneficial for patients.

Improving Relationships

One of the main things that extreme behaviors are notorious for is destroying relationships. However, recovery and proper management of any illness cannot be done alone. Something that DBT focuses on heavily is the improvement of relationships, not only with one’s self but also with others in their life. Learning to create healthy relationships can be valuable through difficult times.

Improving Quality of Life

The goal of DBT is to help individuals live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. This is done through emotional regulation, behavior management, and relationship building. While a person may have some trouble with the lessons taught in DBT, they are encouraged to be challenged and know that it is not a bad thing. These lessons carry on through their lives and can drastically improve their quality of life.

Learn More About DBT With Inner Voyage Recovery Center in Atlanta, GA

There are various reasons why dialectical behavior therapy is so effective. Our team at Inner Voyage Recovery Center in Atlanta, GA, offers DBT as a therapy option for patients who can benefit from it. Your mental health is important to us. That is why we offer several treatment options that cater to our patient’s individual needs.

If you are searching for quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders, look no further than Inner Voyage Recovery Center. Our team of professionals is knowledgeable, experienced, and eager to help. Contact us today to learn more about our therapy options and to take a tour of our facility.

If you or someone you know needs any of our services

Please call us at 470-863-8259

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