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DBT: What Does It Treat?

DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and it’s one of the most effective tools out there when it comes to treating borderline personality disorder (BPD). Many people have questions about what DBT therapy involves, but it’s simple once you understand the basics of how this treatment works. Before we get into all that, though, let’s take a closer look at what DBT is and isn’t.

Treatment for BPD

Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that’s marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behaviour. For those with BPD, it can be hard to predict how you, or others will react in any given situation. You may go from feeling sad and hopeless one moment to feeling angry and aggressive—or even elated—the next. In short, your reactions don’t make sense most of the time.  This unpredictability is what makes borderline personality disorder so difficult to live with. But there are treatments available for people who have BPD.

Treatment for Anxiety

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is an effective treatment for many people with generalized anxiety disorder. This therapy teaches you how to cope with overwhelming emotions by changing your patterns of thinking and behaving, as well as providing tools for regulating distressing emotions and thoughts when they occur. The goal of DBT is to provide skills that can help you overcome emotional difficulties in life. With these skills, you’ll be better able to handle stressful situations that come up in your daily life.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Eating Disorders

Treatment For Eating Disorders

According to The National Eating Disorders Association, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a treatment that may help people with eating disorders. Since you’re eating disorder can have many causes, it’s best to see a psychologist who specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy and who also has training in treating eating disorders. This specialist will consider several factors when determining whether DBT is right for you. These include your reasons for seeking treatment, you’re eating disorder symptoms and co-occurring mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

Treatment for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops as a result of going through or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD causes symptoms like insomnia, hypervigilance, flashbacks, and depression. Treatment for PTSD often includes cognitive behavioural therapy. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is one of these types of therapy—and it can be incredibly effective in treating symptoms associated with PTSD.

Treatment for self-harm/suicidal Thoughts

If you’re experiencing suicidality, self-harm, or a host of other issues, it can be hard to determine what kind of help is best for you. Some people may benefit from therapy alone while others may need medication or multiple treatments. One thing that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) have in common is their ability to help reduce thoughts and behaviours that lead to these types of feelings.  DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan as an offshoot of CBT, but with a specific focus on helping those with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT has been found to be effective at reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviours in BPD patients. CBT has also been shown to be effective at reducing suicidal thoughts in those without BPD.