What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
DBT has several core components. One of these core beliefs is that people suffer because of exceeding emotional pain. Another core belief is that people try to escape/avoid their feelings/pain by using avoidance behaviors and emotional escape. DBT thus assumes, that attempted repression(escape /avoidance) of affect(feelings)is a large part of emotional sickness. Therapeutic strategies of DBT include helping clients accept their pain, acknowledge it without judgment and then develop new coping strategies. Exposure to the emotions, prevention of emotional escape, and introduction of behavioral coping strategies i.e. learning to accept/acknowledge the emotional pain and suffering while at the same time learning new and different solutions/strategies to overcome the emotional pain is another core belief.
DBT focuses on 4(four) pillars of recovery; Distress Tolerance Skills, Emotional Regulation Skills, Mindfulness (staying in the present moment)Skills, and Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills(communication). A central principle of DBT,therefore, is that acceptance of emotional pain is actually the very genesis (beginning) of decreasing the pain.
Once the emotions are dialectically accepted then the royal road of recovery can begin. I hope this brief introduction to DBT will inspire you, give you hope, and you will have the courage to begin to heal with a qualified DBT specialist.
K. Alexia Fisher, Ed.S., LPC