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What can DBT help with?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is designed to help those with challenging psychiatric conditions, such suicidal behavior and self-destructive impulses, borderline and other personality disorders, PTSD, bulimia and other eating disorders, substance use disorders, and severe depression and anxiety. Weekly individual therapy sessions and group skills training sessions focus on imparting and practicing skills of emotion regulation and distress tolerance for those who face frequent crises due to uncontrolled anger and other emotions, impulsivity, extreme mood instability, and hypersensitivity to rejection.

Who is a qualified DBT therapist?

A qualified DBT therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has enough additional academic and clinical training, along with supervised experience, in DBT to obtain certification by a credentialing organization. Certified DBT therapists typically use the designation CDBT. It may be important to seek out a certified DBT therapist; the therapy is multifaceted, with multiple components, parts of which have been adapted to other, less-comprehensive treatments.

How do therapists use DBT?

The primary goal of DBT is to impart skills of emotion regulation and distress tolerance to people whose lack of such skills leaves them vulnerable to frequent emotional crises and self-destructive behaviour patterns. In weekly individual sessions, people learn how to recognize, understand, label, and manage their emotions and how to handle situations that give rise to negative or painful feelings they struggle with. Therapists help individuals review such emotional experiences and then discuss skillful ways to handle emotional and life problems.

How do I recognize a good DBT therapist?

A DBT therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has training and experience in DBT. DBT is a comprehensive and multifaceted therapy that makes many demands of therapists and requires extensive training. Several organizations provide certification in DBT to qualified therapists who have completed advanced academic and clinical work. Certified DBT therapists may use the designation CDBT. While qualifications and experience are especially important for a DBT therapist, so is a good fit. As with all forms of therapy, it is advisable to find a DBT therapist with whom you feel comfortable. Look for someone with whom you can establish clarity of communication and who is willing to answer questions you have about treatment.