What is Dialectical-Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment philosophy that aims to change patterns of unhelpful thoughts and behaviors while increasing an individual's positive experiences.
A dialectic means a synthesis or integration of opposites. The most important dialectic in DBT is the balance of acceptance and change. For example, I accept my clients as they are while also acknowledging that change is required to meet their goals. People seeking therapy often feel 'stuck' in certain patterns of behavior or ways of thinking. In DBT we use specific skills from four skill sets to help you get ‘unstuck,’ achieve new perspectives, and move towards living a fuller life.
As mentioned above, Dialectical Behavior Therapy teaches skills in four specific areas. These are practical skills for everyday use that will help you manage your emotions, behaviors, and stressors more effectively. The four skill areas include the following:
Mindfulness: learning to be aware and fully present in the moment without judgment.
Distress Tolerance: how to manage pain in difficult situations when you cannot change the circumstances.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and/or say no while maintaining your self-respect and relationships with others.
Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that are causing you trouble.
With a focus on mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation, many people find an increased ability to cope with life’s stressors. In therapy, you can expect to learn new skills as well as have time to process your current struggles and ways of coping. We will collaborate and decide what seems to be working for you as well as what ways of thinking and behavior are no longer helping. From there we will develop a treatment plan that will help you achieve optimal progress and feel better about your life and relationships.
I am passionate about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and proud to be intensively trained in this treatment by Behavioral Tech, LLC. You can always expect high-quality DBT treatment delivered with enthusiasm and expertise.
- Jessica Aron, Psy.D.