The Therapy Collective


The information provided here is intended to support you with guidance. Please always consult an expert for an accurate diagnosis and to be sure you receive the support needed for your unique situation.

What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy?

What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy?

What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy?

What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive, evidence-based treatment designed to help individuals manage intense emotions and improve their relationships. Originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, DBT has since been adapted to address a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

DBT combines cognitive-behavioural techniques with mindfulness practices, focusing on the balance between acceptance and change. The therapy is structured around four key modules:

  1. Mindfulness: Enhancing your ability to be present and fully engaged in the moment.
  2. Distress Tolerance: Developing skills to tolerate and survive crises without making the situation worse.
  3. Emotion Regulation: Learning to understand, reduce, and manage intense emotions.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Building skills to communicate effectively and maintain healthy relationships.


How DBT Can Help You

  • DBT provides practical tools and strategies to help you:
  • Manage Intense Emotions: Learn to recognize, understand, and regulate your emotions, reducing the intensity and duration of emotional distress.
  • Increase Mindfulness: Cultivate awareness and acceptance of your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to respond to situations more effectively.
  • Improve Relationships: Develop skills to communicate your needs, set boundaries, and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.
  • Enhance Coping Strategies: Build resilience and effective ways to cope with stress and crisis situations without resorting to self-destructive behaviours.
  • Achieve a Balanced Life: Find a balance between accepting yourself as you are and striving for positive change, leading to a more fulfilling and stable life.


What a DBT Session Might Look Like

In a typical DBT session, you’ll engage in a structured and supportive environment where the focus is on building and practising new skills. The session usually starts with a review of your weekly diary card, which tracks emotions, urges, and behaviours. Your therapist will help you identify areas of improvement and discuss any challenges you faced. Together, you’ll work through the four key DBT modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The therapist may teach you specific skills, such as mindfulness exercises or strategies for managing crises, and guide you through role-playing scenarios to practise these skills. Homework assignments are often given to reinforce the skills learned in the session and to encourage their application in real-life situations.


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