Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

What Is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a modified type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Its main
goals are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress,
regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others.1
DBT was originally intended to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), but it has been adapted
to treat other mental health conditions. It can help people who have difficulty with emotional
regulation or are exhibiting self-destructive behaviors (such as eating disorders and substance use
disorders).2 This type of therapy is also sometimes used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder

What Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Can Help With
DBT was developed in the late 1980s by Dr. Marsha Linehan and colleagues when they discovered
that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) alone did not work as well as expected in patients with BPD.
Dr. Linehan and her team added techniques and developed a treatment to meet the unique needs of
these individuals.

Though developed with BPD in mind, DBT also be an effective treatment for:
* Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
* Bipolar disorder
* Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
* Eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa)
* Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
* Major depressive disorder (including treatment-resistant major depression and chronic
* Non-suicidal self-injury
* Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
* Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
* Substance use disorder8
* Suicidal behavior

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