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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that emphasizes on the psychosocial aspect of treatment. It was developed by Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s as a means to more effectively treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT combines standard cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques for emotional regulation and reality testing with psycho-educational modules and concepts derived from Buddhist meditative practice such as awareness, mindfulness, and attentiveness to current situations and emotional experiences.

What Does DBT Treat?

Dialectical behavior therapy has been and remains the gold standard method of treatment for individuals diagnosed with BPD struggling with thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Evidence has since shown it to be a successful treatment method for individuals diagnosed with other mental health ailments, including the following conditions, provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Substance use disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

However, DBT is not a stand-alone treatment for trauma, because it does not involve any type of trauma processing. DBT is also not recommended for individuals with intellectual disabilities or uncontrolled schizophrenia. Dialectical behavior therapy can help individuals that have a difficult time modulating strong emotions and/ or those that are emotionally vulnerable. 

Is DBT Right For You?

When emotions interfere with your daily life (e.g., relationships, work, school, goals, etc.) it may be a sign that DBT could be right for you. If your emotions feel overwhelming, out of control, pervasive, or debilitating DBT may also be helpful. Additional signs that could indicate you may be a good candidate for DBT include:

  • If you struggle with your identity.
  • If you experience mood swings that last longer or are more severe than others.
  • If you feel hyper-sensitive.
  • If you struggle with cultivating and/ or maintaining meaningful relationships (e.g., family members, friends, or partners).
  • If you have anger problems. 
  • If you engage in harmful behaviors (e.g., self-harm, alcohol, or drug abuse, overspending money, risky sexual behavior, etc.).
  • If you experience feelings of hopelessness or unsurmountable emptiness.

Guidance from a mental health professional can help you determine if DBT is the best course of treatment.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society‚Äôs elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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