What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy, And How Can It Help?


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy developed in the late 1980s, to treat people with a borderline personality disorder.

DBT has since been found to be effective for other disorders such as eating disorders, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. In this blog post, you will learn aboutdialectical behavior therapy and how it can help you or someone you know struggling with mental health issues. Stay tuned!

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy, And What Are Its Key Principles?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy initially developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it has since been shown to be effective in treating a range of other mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, and more.

DBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all interconnected. It aims to help us change our negative thoughts and behaviors by teaching us new, more effective ways of coping with our emotions.

One of the key features of DBT is that it is a skills-based therapy. This means that it focuses on teaching specific skills that can be used to manage your emotions and behavior. These skills include mindful awareness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT is an effective treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. It can help us to reduce our symptoms, improve our functioning, and make lasting changes in our lives.

The Key Principles of DBT:

  • Dialectics: The idea that two opposing things can be true at the same time. For example, people can be both good and bad, or happy and sad.
  • Change is possible: People can change their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
  • Acceptance: People should accept themselves and others as they are while working to change what they can.
  • Mindfulness: Being aware of and present in the moment, without judgment.

Who Can Benefit From Dialectical Behavior Therapy Treatment?

DBT was originally designed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), and research has shown that it can help treat this condition. However, clinicians have found that DBT can be helpful for people with a range of other mental health conditions, such as:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Depression

How Does DBT Work?

DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on helping people change unhelpful or unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. It is based on the idea that learning new ways of coping with difficulties and stressors in our lives is possible.

During DBT treatment, you will work with a therapist to learn about different techniques for managing difficult situations. You will also be asked to practice these skills in your everyday life. The goal is to help you develop more effective coping mechanisms and to feel better able to manage challenging situations.


Suppose you are interested in learning more about Dialectical behavior therapyor finding a therapist specializing in this type of treatment. In that case, you can search the therapists’ directory on the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (NACBT) website.

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