DBT was originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan in the 1970’s as a treatment for individuals with borderline personality disorder. DBT is helpful for individuals with a wide range of issues and diagnoses, not only those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
DBT skills are helpful for teens and adults struggling with any of the following: emotional issues, anger management difficulties, frequent mood swings, intense fear of abandonment, chaotic relationships, anxiety, depression, self-harm, borderline personality disorder, and eating issues.
Clients receive once weekly individual sessions as well as attending group sessions that are typically an hour to an hour-and-a half in length. DBT Skills Group Training focuses on helping patients develop the coping skills they need to solve their own problems and achieve their desired goals. Unlike regular group psychotherapy, these skills groups are classes during which clients learn five sets of important skills – Core Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Middle Path.
Core Mindfulness: These skills teach patients to retrain their focus to the here and now in order to help them attain attentional and emotional control.
Distress Tolerance: Tolerating distress is one of the most difficult tasks people need to learn. This skill set teaches individuals how to cope with and distract themselves during moments of overwhelming emotion and during a crisis.
Emotion Regulation: Individuals are taught the basic components of feelings, as well as means to enhance and more fully enjoy positive emotions, while concurrently decreasing and tolerating negative feelings.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: The aim of this set of skills is to teach individuals the basics of interpersonal interactions including how to ask for help and reassurance from others, how to assert one’s needs, and how to express one’s self in a manner that others can readily respond to.
Middle Path: This module helps to decrease family dilemmas and conflict.
To participate in the DBT group, participants are asked to commit to: