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Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive and evidence-based psychotherapy developed by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, primarily to address the complex challenges faced by individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Today, DBT is used to treat BPD but has also proved highly effective at treating a range of mental health problems, including people who struggle with emotional regulation, mood changes, interpersonal difficulties, and attachment difficulties. 


DBT incorporates principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, and is based on four core principles: Mindfulness, Emotional Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.


One of the distinguishing features of DBT is the emphasis on dialectics; the recognition and integration of contradictory perspectives. Often people can struggle to hold onto two different opinions/facts, or to opposing mixed feelings. This contradiction can trigger high anxiety and lead to unhelpful coping mechanisms, including black and white thinking, seeing people as "all good" or "all bad", rupturing relationships, and acting out. DBT aims to help people hold onto contradictory perspectives, while regulating anxiety, so that people can maintain and navigate relationships in a healthier way. Over time, DBT offers skills that enable individuals to regulate intense emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, and effectively cope with crises. This holistic approach encourages individuals to find a middle path between acceptance and change, fostering a more balanced and fulfilling life.

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