Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive therapy model developed by Marsha Linehan and colleagues to treat people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder where a person struggles with an unstable sense of identity, instability in relationships and difficulty regulating emotions. Borderline Personality Disorder is challenging to treat because the characteristic emotional volatility and instability in a person’s sense of self and their relationships makes it hard to remain engaged in treatment unless a clinician is skilled in understanding the diagnosis and how to treat it. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a widely used, scientifically proven to be a successful treatment program for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). 

How does Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Work?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) in its entirety involves individual therapy, group therapy, a DBT therapist consultation team and phone coaching. At the Toronto Psychology Clinic, we only provide the individual therapy with Dialectical Behaviour Therapy skills and techniques. The individual therapy involves teaching various strategies such as:

Mindfulness: Learning to be present and noticing your thoughts, feelings and behaviour as they happen without trying to control them.

Distress tolerance: Developing skills to tolerate and effectively cope during emotional crisis, especially when there is nothing one can change about a situation, and accepting a situation as it is, rather than how it is perceived it should be.

Interpersonal effectiveness: The ability of a person to ask for what they need when necessary, while still maintaining self-respect and relationships with others.

Emotion regulation: The ability to manage emotions so that they do not control thoughts and behaviours.