Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) 

What is Dialectical behaviour therapy

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a contemporary form of therapy that combines cognitive-behavioural therapy with mindfulness practices. It is used in psychology to help individuals with intense emotions, impulsive behaviours, and relationship difficulties. According to the Australian Psychological Society (APS 2018), the overall goal is the reduction of ‘ineffective action tendencies linked with deregulated emotions’ .

When is Dialectical behaviour therapy used in psychology

DBT is commonly used when someone experiences challenges like borderline personality disorder, self-harming behaviours, substance abuse, eating disorders, and chronic suicidal thoughts. It is also helpful for those who struggle with regulating their emotions or managing relationships.

What to expect in Dialectical behaviour therapy sessions

In DBT sessions, you can expect a structured and supportive environment. You will work closely with your psychologist who will help you identify specific challenges and develop personalised strategies to address them. You will learn skills to manage emotions and cope with difficulties in life.

DBT focuses on teaching practical skills such as mindfulness techniques to stay present in the moment, distress tolerance skills to cope with intense emotions, emotion regulation skills to understand and manage emotions, and interpersonal effectiveness skills to navigate relationships effectively.

Overall, DBT is a therapy approach that helps individuals with intense emotions and difficulties in managing relationships. It offers practical skills and a supportive environment to improve emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Remember, therapy is personalised to your unique needs and experiences. Your psychologist will adapt the approach to ensure it is respectful, empowering, and supportive of your therapeutic journey.

References – Health Direct Australia Limited (2022), Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dialectical-behaviour-therapy-dbt

Australian Psychological Society (APS) 2018 “Evidence-based psychological interventions in the treatment of mental disorders: A literature review”, APS

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