What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT encourages change, but also promotes acceptance.
The term “dialectic” means that two opposite ideas can be correct at the same time. This is helpful for individuals in eating disorder treatment, as most of these clients adopt an “all or nothing view.”
The treatment modality appeals to many as they navigate recovery; they can accept their difficulties and work towards changing them. Individuals learn to avoid either/or thinking (“I’m either recovered or I’m stuck with this eating disorder forever”) which can help them challenge other all-or-none thinking typical of an eating disorder.
DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas:
- Emotional regulation
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Distress tolerance
Mindfulness is a key component of DBT
Mindfulness skills include learning how to make decisions based on both emotional and rational input and reducing judgmental thinking. Distress tolerance helps individuals gain skills for coping with crises, such as distraction and self-soothing. Emotion regulation teaches them to identify different feelings, as well as how to make themselves less vulnerable in the first place to extreme shifts in emotions. Interpersonal effectiveness involves the mastery of assertiveness techniques, including asking for help and challenging task of saying “no” to others.
We’re Here for You
If you are struggling or someone you know is struggling, we are here for you. Center for Discovery’s Treatment Centers specialize in treatment for eating disorders, mental health and dual diagnosis treatment with unique treatment programs for every individual to get them on their way to eating disorder recovery.
For more information, resources, or to consult with one of our specialists, call 866.482.3876.