What is Up with All Those Acronyms: DBT

The therapy world is filled with so many acronyms and it can get confusing and overwhelming. Each week, I will break down several of the acronyms you may have heard or read about.

Let’s start with DBT.

What is DBT?

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy use to treat a variety of conditions such as personality disorders, suicidal behaviors, mood disorders, eating disorders and PSTD.

DBT consists of four main components:

·      Distress tolerance

·      Emotion regulation

·      Interpersonal Effectiveness

·      Mindfulness

 

Distress tolerance teaches skills that allow individuals to calm their intense emotions until they come to a safe to confront them.

Emotion regulation takes this one step further by teaching individuals how to name their emotions they are experiencing. How many times have you felt “just off” and can’t seem to really describe how you are feeling. In DBT, you can learn to adequately name your emotion in order to move to changing this to a more adaptive emotion through a variety of skills that DBT teaches.

Interpersonal effectiveness acknowledges that sometimes our intense emotions may damage relationships, so it provides opportunities to practice healthy boundaries and assertive communication styles.

Mindfulness involves staying present in the moment. You mind is here with you now, not thinking about the past or worried about the future. This concept is woven throughout DBT.

                  DBT is a very active, directive, and educational therapy styles that can be conducive to many individuals. Ask your therapist if they feel DBT is right for you. Here are a few questions you may ask:

                  Is there evidence can treat my condition?

                  Do you have background or training in DBT?

                  Is DBT appropriate at our point in treatment?

 

Written by Kristina Zufall, M.Ed

Kristina is a counselor with all heart! She enjoys working with children, adolescents, adults and couples using a humanistic approach of meeting each client where they are in the counseling room. Kristina has almost a decade of training in helping people with various difficulties including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, and acute suicidality. She specializes in treating eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder and is working to complete her certified eating disorder specialist. She has training in mental health first aid and suicide intervention strategies. Additionally, Kristina regularly works with couples and has completed Gottman Method Level 1 couples counseling training. You can find out more about Kristina at https://heightsfamilycounseling.com/amy-rollo/ and www.kristinazufall.com