What is DBT?
DBT is an effective therapy for individuals who experience intense and overwhelming emotions which interfere with their quality of life.
By teaching skills in the areas of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness, DBT empowers individuals to build a life worth living.
The therapy teaches skills in the following four areas:
Mindfulness – It’s hard to know how to cope with our emotions if we don’t realize we’re feeling them until it’s too late! It’s also hard to build relationships if we’re not present with others. Mindfulness brings awareness to our thoughts, emotions, and sensations, helps us live in the moment, and quiets our judgments.
Distress tolerance – Pain is a natural part of life. The way we try to cope with that pain can lead to suffering. This module is all about surviving a crisis and getting through difficult experiences without making them worse by engaging in risky and harmful coping including self-harm, isolating, lashing out in anger, or using drugs.
Emotion regulation – How can you expect to know how to regulate your emotions if you’ve never been taught? You can’t! This module is all about teaching you about emotions, about increasing the frequency of pleasant emotions, and about reducing vulnerability to difficult emotions.
Interpersonal effectiveness – Like it or not, humans are social beings. We NEED social connections. Yet relationships with others make up a great deal of the pain the we experience in our lives. In this module, you’ll learn how to form, maintain, and strengthen relationships. You’ll learn strategies to help you communicate more confidently and effectively all while maintaining your self respect.
DBT provides you with effective strategies to manage emotions and urges so that you can regain some balance and control over your feelings and behaviours.
When is DBT Used?
DBT was first developed to treat borderline personality disorder and it does this very well. There have been decades of research done to show that DBT can also help with emotion dysregulation, self-injury, mood difficulties, substance use, and PTSD.
If you are engaging in therapy focused on processing traumatic experiences, your therapist may recommend that you complete some DBT skills sessions prior to doing this work to help you regulate your emotions.
What Can You Expect?
At New Moon Psychotherapy we do not offer a comprehensive DBT program, instead, DBT is tailored to your needs. This includes a combination of:
- Individual DBT therapy
- Individual DBT skills coaching
- DBT skills group