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Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, is a specialized form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The main goal of DBT is to teach people how to stay in the present, cope with stress in a healthy way, process emotions, and to improve relationships in their lives.
According to the National Institute of Health, DBT “has many similarities with other cognitive-behavioral approaches, several critical and unique elements must be in place for the treatment to constitute DBT. Some of these elements include (a) serving the five functions of treatment, (b) the biosocial theory and focusing on emotions in treatment, (c) a consistent dialectical philosophy, and (d) mindfulness and acceptance-oriented interventions.”
What is DBT?
Dialectical behavior Therapy (DBT) is a proven and evidence-based treatment that integrates the change-oriented technique of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with the acceptance strategies of eastern Zen practice. The result is a powerful and balanced treatment approach to help you identify and regulate emotions and improve your interactions with others and yourself.
DBT Addresses Six Types of Dysregulation
- Emotional dysregulation – difficulties with managing emotions and anxiety, mood instability, impulsiveness, and problems with anger
- Cognitive dysregulation – catastrophic, black-and-white, or all-or-nothing thinking
- Self dysregulation – feelings of emptiness or disconnection and feelings of lack of self-concept and self-worth
- Behavioral dysregulation – impulsive and self-harming behaviors and behaviors that can make one’s life worse not better
- Interpersonal dysregulation – difficulty maintaining positive relationships and fears of rejection and abandonment
- Self-management dysregulation – mood-dependent behavior and procrastination
DBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach that can help treat many conditions through various techniques and strategies, including:
Mindfulness skills are an important technique of DBT. Mindfulness helps you stay present and live in the moment. Many times worrying about the future or feeling negative feelings about the past keep us in a loop of worry and negative feelings, hurting us today. Mindfulness helps sufferers be more aware of what's right in front of them, including what they hear, smell, taste, see, and feel.
Distress tolerance skills help sufferers accept themselves and their current situation. Some of these skills include: Distraction, self-soothing, improving the moment, and thinking of the pros and cons of not tolerating distress.
Distress tolerance helps sufferers prepare for intense emotions and empowers them to cope and have a more positive outlook.
Interpersonal effectiveness is a DBT technique that helps sufferers become more assertive in their relationships, such as being able to say “no”, while still keeping their relationships healthy.
This skill will help sufferers deal with difficult people, communicate effectively, and respect themselves more.
Emotional regulation is a DBT technique that helps sufferers navigate powerful feelings in effective ways. Skills learned in emotional regulation will help sufferers identify, name, and change their emotions.
Conditions DBT Can Help With
DBT was developed in the late 1980's by Marsha Linehan and her colleagues after they discovered that using CBT was not as effective in patients with bipolar disorder. In light of this, Dr. Linehan and her team developed a new type of treatment to meet the needs of these unique individuals.
In addition to bipolar disorder, DBT is effective treating:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Depressive Disorders including Major Depressive Disorder and Chronic Depression)
- Eating Disorders including Anorexia, Binge Eating Disorder, and Bulimia Nervosa
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Self-Injury (non-suicidal)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Substance Use Disorder
- Suicidal Behavior
Benefits of DBT
In DBT, a practitioner uses “validation” that an individual's actions make sense given their personal experiences while not necessarily agreeing that their actions are the best approach to solving their problem.
Here are some benefits of DBT:
- Acceptance and Change: DBT teaches strategies of acceptance and tolerance to life circumstances, emotions, and yourself overall. DBT will help sufferers develop new skills that can help make positive changes in their behaviors and interactions with others and themselves.
- Behavioral: DBT teaches sufferers to look at their problems and destructive patterns differently and replace them with more healthy and effective ones.
- Cognitive: Suffers will learn to change their thoughts and beliefs that are not helpful to them.
- Collaboration: DBT will teach sufferers to communicate and work together as a team.
- Skill Sets: DBT will teach sufferers new skillsets to elevate their capabilities and change their way of thinking for the better.
- Support: DBT will teach sufferers to recognize their positive strengths and attributes, to develop them, and to use them to their benefit.
Why Our DBT Worksheets?
Our DBT worksheets are designed to help practitioners deliver Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to their clients more effectively.
Benefits of our DBT Worksheets:
- Take in responses from clients on a digital device like a computer
- Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
- Search for specific questions and/or answers by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard when viewing your PDF
- Legibly read your client’s answers
- Print copies that are high in quality – (we made this form grey on purpose! Much easier on your printer)
Key Features of Our DBT Worksheets:
- US letter size (8.5″ x 11″)
- Fillable / Printable
- Editable (If you need to make changes, we can provide you with a free editing website that will allow you to make changes to questions/statements)
- Longform responses
- Short form responses
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