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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, often called DBT therapy, is a method of treatment that was devised by Marsha Linehan, faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle, for the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD).

The effectiveness of DBT therapy has been demonstrated in many controlled studies across different research groups. Because of this success and due to similar behavior patterns, DBT therapy is now being used in many settings as a viable therapy for the treatment of many other emotional issues, including eating disorders.

DBT Therapy Treatment

There are four modules in DBT group skills training:

  • Core Mindfulness Skills. These are derived from Buddhist meditation techniques to enable the client to become aware of the different aspects of experience and to develop the ability to stay with that experience in the present moment.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills. These focus on effective ways of achieving one's objectives with other people: to ask for what one wants effectively, to say no and be taken seriously, to maintain relationships and to maintain self-esteem in interactions with other people (comparable to assertiveness training).
  • Emotion Modulation Skills. These skills are ways of coping with intense emotional experiences and their causes. They also allow for an adaptive experience and expression of intense emotions.
  • Distress Tolerance Skills. These include techniques for putting up with, finding meaning for, and accepting distressing situations if there is no conceivable solution at present.

Adapted from an article by Qutayba Abdullatif and Nicole Bekman for About.com.

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