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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

About Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

  • The term “dialectical” describes the existence of opposites. In DBT treatment, a client is taught “opposing” strategies – acceptance and change. DBT helps clients to find a way to accept and validate their current experiences and behaviours, and also discover ways to make positive behavioural changes to regulate their emotions and better manage their harmful or destructive behaviours.​

  • DBT is an effective treatment for individuals who have difficulty managing and regulating intense emotional states. DBT is effective treatment for:

    • Borderline Personality Disorder

    • Self-Harm

    • Suicidal Behaviours

    • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    • Substance Use/Abuse

    • Eating Disorders

    • Depression

    • Anxiety

    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • The central focus of DBT is to teach an individual to identify and accept unhelpful or harmful thoughts, and discover new ways to change them. DBT cultivates this central goal through four main skills: 

    • Mindfulness – the practice of being present with thoughts/feelings/behaviours, and allowing them to exist without judgment 

    • Distress Tolerance – the practice of learning how to accept and cope with a crisis or “impossible” situation

    • Interpersonal Effectiveness – the practice of having the ability to create and maintain boundaries while still cultivating meaningful and respectful relationships with yourself and others

    • Emotional Regulation- the ability to manage thoughts/feelings so that they do no effect or control one’s behaviours