• Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

    What is DBT?

    Many of us never learned what emotions are, why they exist, what to do with them, or what they mean to us on a personal level. In the 1980s, Dr. Marsha Linehan developed DBT to treat clients who were highly emotionally volatile and destructive. Over time, research showed that this approach is helpful for a diversity of clients struggling with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic-stress disorder, depression, bulimia, binge-eating, and substance abuse. The main components of DBT are mindfulness, knowing how to tolerate and use strong, negative emotions, how to regulate and take charge of our emotions, and how to integrate these skills in your relationships.

    So, what does “dialectic” even mean?

    Dialectic is defined as 1) discussing and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation and 2) a method of examining and discussing opposing ideas in order to find the truth. In short, dialectic is taking two opposite beliefs and letting them validly sit next to each other.

    So, how does this dialectic word relate to therapy?

    Consistent with what Internal Family Systems believes, we often have contradicting feelings. These feelings can make us irritable, confused, stuck, or lost. Increasing our awareness of these opposing, all-or-none thoughts through therapy can bring understanding. With understanding comes the ability to show gentleness towards ourself as we navigate tolerating and regulating our emotions. Then, all of this work comes together to offer long-term improvements in our inner peace and interpersonal relationships.

    For more information on DBT, click here.