DBT Therapy provides tools and skills for individuals that experience emotions very intensely. This therapy was created to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, but can be effective for issues such as substance use, self-harm, eating disorders, and other situations in which regulating emotions or behaviors is difficult.
Emotional regulation refers to the ability to recognize and manage your emotions. Now emotions cannot always be controlled, but identifying your emotions can help you change how you respond to them. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can be life-changing to remove yourself from these negative patterns. You can save a lot of time, energy and distress, once you can avoid going down these negative spirals.
DBT also focuses on tools for setting healthy boundaries, either with other people or destructive behaviors. You learn techniques for understanding when and how to say no to the things that are unhealthy for you. Additionally DBT teaches distress tolerance, which is a fancy way of saying emotional self-care. This involves both avoiding intense emotions, as well as soothing yourself when you are experiencing them.
There are three ways in which DBT therapy may be structured:
Comprehensive programs that last around 6-12 months. This are intensives that usually don't let you see another therapist at the same time.
Weekly DBT groups, these will usually run for a period of 12 weeks and are great for those who would benefit from more social activity.
Individual DBT therapy, which is less structured than the other two and may be used alongside other therapy approaches.