Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Last Updated on November 26, 2020 by Maya Hall

Dialectical Behavior Therapy was created by Marsha Linehan in 1980, based on the inadequacy of only acceptance-focused or only change-focused therapy approaches to treat some psychological disorders or difficulties, is a concept that focuses on both acceptance and change simultaneously, and uses both acceptance and change strategies simultaneously in treatment.

            Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, was named dialectical because it embraces the reality that there are opposites in every situation we encounter in life and believes that these contrasts should be synthesized. The most fundamental dialectic advocated in Dialectical Behavior Therapy is that clients should accept themselves as they are right now, and at the same time, change in order to achieve their goals and live a life worth living. The main goal of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is to help clients change their behavioral, emotional, intellectual, and relational patterns that cause problems in their lives by teaching them the necessary skills that are lacking in their repertoire.

            Dialectical Behavior Therapy was developed primarily to work with and treat individuals who are chronically suicidal and have Borderline Personality Disorder, who have severe difficulties in regulating their emotions. While developing the treatment, the most common characteristics of these individuals were their inability to regulate their intense emotions, their inability to stop acting according to their emotions and their inability to act independently of their emotions in a way that would enable them to achieve their long-term goals. Because emotion regulation causes difficulty in controlling impulses, relational problems and instability in self-esteem in these individuals, Dialectical Behavior Therapy has begun to teach emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness and effective interpersonal relationships. Studies have shown that Dialectical Behavior Therapy is seriously effective in providing recovery in this client group. Dialectical Behavior Therapy anger control problem, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorder, substance use / addiction, and attention deficit, as it was later understood that the main problem in many psychological disorders was excessive or inadequate control of emotions and the resulting cognitive and behavioral problems. and with clients struggling with hyperactivity disorder, it has also been proven to be effective in these client groups.

            Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a modular therapy method, consists of 4 units: individual therapy for the client, group or individual skill training for the client, telephone coaching by the therapist between sessions, and participation of the therapist in the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy consultation team. Depending on the difficulty and problem area and the client’s needs, the necessary ones from these 4 components can be applied and those that do not seem necessary can be removed.

For example, while the treatment with clients who need individual therapy includes all 4 units, individuals who do not need individual therapy can only be given skill training.

Lucas Berg
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