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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)


Developed by Marsha Linehan (1993), DBT is effective at helping people manage overwhelming emotions. Research shows that DBT can strengthen a person's ability to handle distress without losing control or acting destructively.

A lot of people struggle with overwhelming emotions.  It is as if the knob is turned to maximum volume on much of what they feel.  When they get angry or sad or scared, it shows up as a big, powerful wave that can sweep them off their feet.  DBT teaches four critically important skills that can reduce the size of emotional waves and help you keep your balance when those emotions overwhelm you.

Distress tolerance will help you cope better with painful events by building up your resilience and giving you new ways to soften the effects of upsetting circumstances.

Mindfulness will help you experience more fully the present moment while focusing less on painful experiences from the past or frightening possibilities in the future.  Mindfulness will also give you tools to overcome habitual, negative judgments about yourself and others.

Emotion regulation skills help you to recognize more clearly what you feel and then to observe each emotion without getting overwhelmed by it.  The goal is to modulate your feelings without behaving in reactive, destructive ways.

Interpersonal effectiveness gives you new tools to express your beliefs and needs, set limits, and negotiate solutions to problems – all while protecting your relationships and treating others with respect.