A Life Worth Living
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To reach the ultimate goal of DBT — creating a life worth living — the therapy balances empathy and warm acceptance (validation) with an unwavering focus on changing behavior (problem-solving). Through this balance, DBT aims to help change the behavioral, emotional, and thinking patterns associated with problems in living, while promoting the development of and reliance on inner wisdom (Wise Mind).
DBT is based on the idea that opposites can coexist and be synthesized. This means weighing out various points of view in any situation and constantly working on balancing an effort to change things that can be changed, and accepting other things as they are because they cannot be changed.
Effective treatment through DBT
DBT is a well-researched and effective treatment for those at high risk of suicide and/or suffering from other issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and more.
DBT is especially helpful in obtaining lasting results for women, girls, and gender non-conforming individuals by providing them with skills and strategies to both cope with and change painful life situations. Part of the draw of DBT-based programming is the therapy’s balanced approach, which affirms the person today while creating new habits and a plan for a better life tomorrow.
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Developed at the University of Washington by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., DBT was originally designed to treat interpersonal chaos, intense emotional swings, impulsiveness, confusion about the self (identity), and suicidal behavior. It is based on a bio-social theory that states that problems develop from the interaction of biological factors (physiological makeup) and environmental factors (learning history), which together create difficulty managing emotions.
Treatment using DBT is therefore appropriate for a range of additional problems that relate to emotion dysregulation such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, anger-related problems, and substance use problems. A great deal of research has been conducted on the effectiveness of DBT and, in general, DBT appears as effective or more effective than other “talk based” psychotherapies for the problems mentioned above.