Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

at Louisville Recovery Center

People with borderline personality disorder, substance use disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often receive dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is a type of talk therapy that focuses on intense emotions. It is also used to treat other mental health conditions. 

At Louisville Recovery Center, we prioritize treating overall health. Through our addiction and mental health treatment services, we ensure every client receives the effective, quality care they deserve. DBT is one of many therapies we utilize at our center. Continue reading to learn more.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

The psychotherapy known as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan, a psychologist from the United States, in the 1970s. This individual therapy was built on aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but it was specially designed for people who experience emotions intensely. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that teaches patients how emotions and actions are affected by their thoughts. DBT combats the tendency of individuals who habitually disregard the reality of their lives and the consequences of their actions by helping them accept the reality of their lives and learn to change their lives and modify their behaviors

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

How it Works

The primary objective of therapists who practice dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is to strike a balance between recognizing your flaws and recognizing your strengths. Your therapist will help you in developing new skills to enhance emotion control. A DBT therapist may structure sessions in different ways, but generally, DBT consists of four types of sessions:

  • Pre-Assessment – Prior to beginning DBT, your therapist may provide an assessment. They will assess whether DBT is a good fit for you by asking you questions and describing how the treatment works. 
  • Individual Therapy – During DBT therapy, you meet with your dbt therapist once a week for about 40 minutes to 60 minutes. The goals of the session are to reduce self-destructive behaviors, improve quality of life, and replace harmful behaviors with healthy ones. 

  • Skills Training – During these sessions, your therapist will instruct you in group settings. This is different from group therapy, where you discuss your issues with others. Think of it more like a classroom setting where you learn. These sessions effectively teach mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. 

  • Telephone Coaching – Telephone crisis coaching is a component of DBT to assist you in your daily life. You may ask your therapist for assistance between sessions by calling. Crisis coaching is employed on an as-needed basis. The conversations are typically quick, and they should not replace the work of individual or group sessions. 

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Although DBT is a type of CBT and they share similar ideas about altering harmful and unhelpful thought patterns and imparting useful coping skills, DBT and CBT differ in several ways. These ways include: 

  • Focus – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy both focus on the same goal: altering the patient’s way of thinking. However, while CBT focuses on altering the patient’s thoughts, DBT focuses on maintaining balance and harmony between acceptance and progress.

  • Time Requirement – CBT is frequently provided in a short period of time. These sessions concentrate on specific problems. With a concrete objective in mind, clients are finished with CBT once they finish what they set out to do. In contrast, DBT usually involves longer periods of therapy where the therapist and client are able to examine the bigger picture. 
  • Setting – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is commonly provided in a one-on-one setting, whereas Dialectical Behavior Therapy may be used in either an individual or group setting. The client and therapist work together, and then the client is assigned ‘homework.’ 

What Conditions Does DBT Treat?

People who have borderline personality disorder or other mental health issues that pose a risk are the focus of dialectical behavioral therapy. DBT was originally developed to help those with suicidal tendencies and borderline personality disorder, but it is now applied to a variety of mental health issues that jeopardize a person’s safety, relationships, work, and psychological well-being. The following issues can greatly benefit from this form of therapy: 

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder 
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia, binge eating disorder, and bulimia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self-harm
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Substance use disorder
  • Suicidal behavior
benefits of DBT at Louisville recovery

Is DBT Effective?

People are able to develop effective ways to manage and express strong emotions as a result of this therapeutic approach’s ability to help them improve their coping skills. In addition, DBT has been shown to be effective regardless of a person’s age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. 

Because DBT is so structured, it is more effective than other treatment strategies for some people. The dbt therapist can design a treatment program based on the patient’s level of distress, and this program will be based on the stages of treatment. 

Research shows that DBT is effective in reducing suicidal and self-injurious behaviors, reducing hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and reducing depression and anxiety. 

Benefits of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in Louisville

The goal of DBT is to help patients resolve the apparent conflict between self-acceptance and positive change by minimizing distress and increasing internal cooperation. Validation is an important part of this process, as it makes people less likely to resist change and more likely to accept it. 

Being a part of dialectical behavior therapy enables you to realize the behaviors and patterns that keep you from being content. Other advantages of dialectical behavior therapy include: 

  • Improves Relationships – Having a solid support network is critical when dealing with mental health problems. Many forms of therapy ignore the significance of our social connections, expecting us to conquer challenges alone. According to DBT, we should recognize how critical our social connections are in overcoming problems. Creating healthy relationships—with respectful boundaries and trust—can have a positive impact on health and well-being in a variety of ways. 

  • Teaches Life Skills – The purpose of DBT is to improve the lives of patients with mental health issues, but it goes beyond that. In addition to treating mental health issues, the DBT therapist teaches skills that may be utilized in other areas of life as well. For example, research suggests that mindfulness is connected to a variety of health and well-being outcomes. The moment you learn this skill, you may apply it to your work, home, and recreational activities. 

  • Improves Quality of Life – Improving quality of life is one of DBT’s key objectives. Unfortunately, we can’t always alter what happens to us. It’s important to recognize that mental health problems may be a lifelong issue for some people. As a result, DBT helps individuals make adjustments to improve their quality of life by gently prompting them in the right direction while simultaneously letting them know it’s alright if they find it difficult. When one is overwhelmed by strong and disruptive feelings, quality of life can be severely impacted. The distress tolerance and emotion regulation components are particularly helpful in these scenarios. 

DBT at Louisville Recovery Center 

Louisville Recovery Center offers Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a treatment for clients who are prone to harming themselves or others. It is our goal to help clients experience and appreciate the present moment while developing better coping mechanisms. When completed successfully, clients are less likely to develop strong emotions or participate in destructive behaviors.

To learn more about DBT or any of the other therapeutic methods we use, contact the specialists at Louisville Recovery Center today. We are here to answer any questions you may have and get you started on the road to healing.