Behavior Therapy is a specialized therapy program designed to help people with multiple emotional and behavioral problems. DBT was originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to treat chronically suicidal patients. DBT has been found to be effective for numerous groups of patients, including those who self-harm and individuals with substance abuse disorders, depression, eating disorder and other problems of emotional imbalance and living. Dialectical Behavior Therapy uses cognitive behavior therapy techniques combined with principles of mindfulness practice and other specialized strategies to help patients. In order to help individuals suffering from severe emotional and behavioral struggles, DBT teaches several sets of core skills.
The DBT skills are defined as follows:
- Mindfulness: Learning effective ways to focus and attend.
- Distress Tolerance: How to get through a crisis (including pain and suffering).
- Emotion Regulation: How to increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotions.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness: How to effectively communicate needs/wants, maintain and keep relationships.
- Walking the Middle Path: Learn about typical adolescent behaviors, validating family members, and how to change behavior in oneself and others.
Individual therapy, Group therapy and Phone coaching are essential components of DBT. Therapists also participate in a peer consultation group to sustain treatment fidelity.