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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
in Mt Pleasant, Michigan

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Have you struggled with intense emotions? Maybe you've experienced extreme mood swings, self-harm, or relationship difficulties. If so, you're not alone. Many people struggle with these challenges, and there is a therapy that can help, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

What is DBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Dr. Marsha Linehan. DBT was initially designed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder but has also been used to treat a variety of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders.

 

DBT is based on the idea that some individuals have a biologically based difficulty regulating their emotions and that this difficulty can lead to problematic behaviors. The therapy teaches patients to identify and change negative thought patterns, improve their relationships with others, and develop healthy coping skills. It also emphasizes acceptance, as individuals are encouraged to accept both themselves and their current situation, while also working towards positive change.

How Does DBT Work

At its core, DBT is a combination of two therapeutic approaches: cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on helping individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors. At the same time, mindfulness involves being present and accepting one's thoughts and emotions without judgment.

In DBT, these two approaches help individuals better regulate their emotions and improve their relationships. DBT works on the idea that there is a balance between acceptance and change, or "dialectics." This relationship means that while it is essential to accept and understand one's emotions, it is also important to make changes to improve one's life.

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What Can I expect from DBT

DBT therapy typically involves weekly individual therapy sessions and a weekly skills group. You'll work with your therapist to address specific challenges and goals in individual therapy sessions. The skills group is where you can learn and practice DBT skills with others who are also working on improving their emotional regulation and relationships.

The skills taught in DBT include:

  • Mindfulness: Practicing being present at the moment and accepting one's thoughts and emotions without judgment.

  • Emotion regulation: Learning how to recognize and manage intense emotions.

  • Distress tolerance: Developing coping skills for difficult or overwhelming situations.

Interpersonal effectiveness: Improving communication skills and setting healthy boundaries in relationships.

Who Can Benefit from DBT

DBT can be helpful for a variety of mental health concerns, including:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Substance use disorders

 

DBT can also benefit individuals with intense emotions, self-harm behaviors, or relationship difficulties. If you're struggling with intense emotions or relationship difficulties, DBT might be a good option for you. However, it's important to remember that every person is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Discuss with your counselor if DBT is right for you.

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