Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an evidence based cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan to treat women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Characteristics of BPD include suicidal and parasuicidal behaviors, emotional vulnerability, chronic feelings of emptiness, interpersonal chaos and difficulty managing impulses (eating disorders, substance abuse, overspending money, gambling)
Research demonstrates that treatment as usual (talk therapy) is ineffective in treating these individuals because talk therapy tends to lead to chronic emotional dysregulation. However, individuals who begin DBT skills training show marked improvement in the ability to tolerate and regulate emotions especially during times of stress. Since its inception DBT has been used effectively with teens, males, and individuals with eating disorders.
The first stage of treatment involves stabilization by helping the client acquire, internalize and generalize the four core skills needed to regulate emotion, tolerate distress, manage relationships and remain mindful of thoughts, feelings, and actions. Once a client has successful integrated and generalized these skills to other settings, he/she may move on to the second stage of treatment. In stage two, clients will begin to process their trauma through the use of DBT-PE.