Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DBT: What is it?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment designed for clients with self-harm behaviors, such as cutting, suicidal thought and suicide attempts. Many clients with these kinds of behaviors fall under a borderline personality (BOP) behaviors category.. They may struggle with other problems besides being borderline; they may face depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, eating disorders, and alcohol or drug problems. DBT is a branch of CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, developed in 1993 by Marsha Linehan, PH.D., by applying CBT to clients who practiced self-injury or made suicide attempts, even struggling with out of control emotions, she decided that going in another direction and adding another type of technique would improve the treatment the consumer(s) would be engaged in.
“Self-destructive behaviors are learned behaviors with intense and very negative emotions”. Emotions like shame, guilt, sadness, fear and anger are a part of the consumer’s life. The client is bound to suffer from emotional vulnerability, meaning that the person who is emotionally vulnerable is quick to lash out in anger, intensely and would be difficult to control. As I went through withdrawals from my drug addictions, I understand the anger and the retaliation others had experienced with my physical needs not being met and the hurt I experienced because there was no one there I felt I could trust to satisfy my needs and urges especially emotional.
There are three types of treatment in DBT – individual treatment, skills group, and phone coaching. Individual therapy has the consumer receiving once a week individual sessions for an hour, then the client must attend two hour weekly skills group for a year, in which they must learn four skills, Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance. Consumers are also asked to call their therapist for coaching if they feel like hurting themselves. At this time the therapist gives them alternatives to self-harm or suicidal behaviors; medications may also be involved. The overall goal is to help clients create and live a “life worth living” attitude which is different from client to client in what they see is the kind of life they would like to achieve and live.
The balance between change and acceptance is formed, through “dialectics”, meaning to weigh and integrate contradicting facts or ideas. People struggle to have a balanced action, with thoughts and feelings and we must all work towards having passionate and realistic thoughts, with our thinking leaning towards the more logical, and realistic boundaries of life. Learning new behaviors helps change old behaviors that keep us from feeling like life is not worth living, in such we are changing our ways of thinking, “changing the balance of life”. Thinking dialectically you understand all points of view, yours and other peoples whom have a focus in life, yet there may be some wrong thoughts or views as well and that’s when we learn to weigh what is right or wrong and change ideas.

Written by Donald Sammons

No comments:

Post a Comment