Emotional regulation & distress tolerance
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed in the 1970s by Marsha Linehan, an American psychologist. DBT is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but is more effective for individuals who experience clinically intense emotional responses to distressing situations.
“Dialectical” means combining opposite ideas. DBT focuses on helping people accept the reality of their lives and their behaviors, as well as helping them learn to change their lives, including dysfunctional behaviors and patterns.
DBT is especially effective in treating the following concerning issues:
- Stress & Anxiety
- Addiction and substance use disorders
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
The above conditions are believed to be associated with dysfunctional efforts to control negative emotions. DBT therapists assist clients with incorporating coping strategies which facilitate a more balanced emotional state.