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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a mental health treatment model that was designed in the late 1980s by Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan, as a means to more effectively treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is an empirically based, highly practical, and structured therapy that is founded on the principals of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rooted in mindfulness practices based on Zen Buddhist teachings. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four areas, known as the four modules (core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation). Each module highlights distinct and specific skills that build upon each other. The primary goal of DBT, according to Psychology Today, is to “transform negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviors into positive outcomes.” DBT remains the only empirically supported treatment for BPD, and current evidence also recognizes DBT as an applicable and effective treatment method for many other mental health conditions. The philosophical perspective of dialectics greatly influences the DBT process. More specifically, the idea that combining two opposites in therapy (acceptance and change) yields more effective results than either would on its own. 

Core Mindfulness Module

The Oxford English Dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” Although many people consider mindfulness to be a form of meditation, Positive Psychology explains mindfulness as “a quality; mediation is a practice… mindfulness describes a specific way of living that can be cultivated through practice.” One of the four modules of DBT is entirely dedicated to cultivating mindfulness. Skills during this module help individuals learn to slow down and focus on mindfully acknowledging and experiencing emotions without reacting impulsively and/ or destructively. It teaches skills to help individuals avoid taking things personally, garner a better understanding of their emotions, become active listeners, and learn to sit with emotions instead of trying to ignore, expel, or dismiss them.  

Benefits Of Mindfulness

There have been studies that indicate that the tranquility effects of practicing mindfulness can be directly correlated to a reduction in one’s stress levels, which can subsequently have a positive effect on one’s immune system. One study found that individuals who regularly practiced mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, throughout the study lowered the thickness of their arterial walls. This finding implies that these individuals have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Regularly practicing mindfulness can result in an individual lowering his or her blood pressure, can help to improve one’s heart rate, and can even help to improve one’s breathing. Practicing and actively integrating the skills from the DBT core mindfulness module into one’s life can increase one’s ability to regulate emotions, which can help an individual prevent, reduce, manage, and even become more resilient towards unwanted feelings.

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’s 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.