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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. It is founded on the principals of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rooted in mindfulness practices based on Zen Buddhist teachings. DBT is a rigidly structured therapeutic approach that is carried out in three therapeutic settings, including weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly DBT skills training group therapy sessions, and as-needed phone coaching. Within each therapeutic setting, DBT focuses on four behavioral skill modules, which are: core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. Each module highlights distinct and specific skills that build upon each other. DBT aims to provide individuals with new skills to effectively manage painful and difficult emotions, minimize conflict in relationships, and engage in more positive behaviors.

How Effective Is DBT?

DBT was developed by Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s, and was designed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Since its inception, dialectical behavior therapy has been and remains the gold standard method of treatment for individuals diagnosed with BPD. Results from one study found that after one year of treatment with DBT, 77% of participants no longer met the diagnostic criteria for BPD. Although DBT was originally developed to treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, evidence has shown it to be a successful treatment method for individuals diagnosed with other mental health ailments. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) asserts that DBT is effective in “reducing psychiatric hospitalization, substance use, and suicidal behavior.” Research has also found DBT to significantly reduce hospital stays, self-injurious behaviors, and the severity of borderline personality disorder symptoms. According to Behavioral Tech, DBT is effective because it “assumes that many of the problems exhibited by clients are caused by skills deficits.” Studies have found that certain improvements, some of which are listed below, can be fully or partially attributed to learning and implementing DBT skills:

Behavioral Tech goes on to explain that “DBT works because it successfully increases clients’ ability to use effective coping skills, particularly strategies for expressing, experiencing, and regulating intense emotions.” Still, the success rate of dialectical behavior therapy is variable, as its efficacy is influenced by a variety of contributing factors, such as: 

  • The specific population being treated.
  • The treatment implementation. 
  • The client-therapist relationship.
  • Treatment adherence. 
  • The individual’s motivation and commitment to the therapy process. 

Depending on one’s needs, long-term success of DBT may also require on ongoing support and maintenance of skills beyond the treatment period, which can contribute to its efficacy.  

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.

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