DBT is the primary type of therapy that we use at Change AZ. It is very helpful for people struggling with both internal and external struggles.
4 Main Strategies
|1. Mindfulness Mindfulness helps you to live in the moment and focus on the present. This keeps patients from dwelling on the past which they cannot change, or the future which they cannot predict. In addition, patients learn techniques to stay calm and avoid automatic negative thoughts. Sample Exercise: Focus on your breathing. Sit down, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
|2. Distress Tolerance In a non-judgmental fashion, distress tolerance helps patients to accept themselves and their current situations. Distracting, self-soothing, improving the moment, and thinking of pros and cons are four techniques taught to help survive crises. Sample Exercise: Self-soothe using your senses. Take a raisin and smell it, feel the bumpy texture, see the color, taste it, and hear what it sounds like when you chew it.
|3. Interpersonal Effectiveness With interpersonal effectiveness, patients will learn assertive and effective ways to communicate that strengthen their bonds with others and maintain their self-respect. Skills include asking for what one needs, how to say “no” and how to cope with conflict. Sample Exercise: Use the acronym GIVE: Gentle: Do not attack or judge others Interest: Show interest and actively listen to the other person Validate: Validate the other person’s feelings and opinions Easy: Have an easy attitude by smiling and using a light-hearted tone
|4. Emotion Regulation Emotion regulation teaches patients to recognize and cope with intense negative emotions and have more positive emotional experiences. Sample Exercise: Write down daily positive self-affirmations. Take time every day to acknowledge the positive things about yourself and what you are grateful for in your life. Doing so can help you to overcome self-sabotaging thoughts.
What Can DBT Help With?
DBT was created to help people struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder, however it works for SO many other problems as well. DBT may be effective if you struggle with:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (ODC)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you have tried talk therapy and find that it is not really working for you or helping much, DBT could be right for you.