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DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOUR THERAPY (DBT)


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is practiced in Kitchener-Waterloo, Milton, Oakville, London and the surrounding areas. Anchoridge Counselling takes pride in the therapy practice offered to help clients with individual needs.

Two hands reaching for each other with sky above. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in London Ontario

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based form of Cognitive Behavioural treatment. The goal of DBT is to identify and change an individual's negative thinking patterns can create positive behavioural changes. DBT helps to teach individuals to “live in the moment,” utilize healthy coping skills for stress, regulate emotions, and improve overall relationship satisfaction with others. DBT is all about teaching individuals how to accept the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours they experience while gaining new skills to emotionally regulate in a healthy and beneficial manner.

DBT was initially designed to treat individuals with a suicidal and borderline personality disorder. However, it has been adapted for other mental health concerns that threaten a person's safety, relationships, work, and emotional well-being. Depending on the circumstances, DBT may also be used to treat individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). DBT teaches individuals skills to cope and change unhealthy behaviours.

What makes DBT different is that the term "dialectical" comes from the idea that bringing two opposites in therapy - acceptance and change - brings better results than either one alone. There is a focus on acceptance of the individual and their experience as they are while acknowledging the work needed to change the negative behaviour. This helps to avoid problematic thinking in extremes.

Ocean waves and a blue sky. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Oakville Ontario

The Four Module Components of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy:

Mindfulness

The development of mindfulness skills helps individuals to focus on the present and pay attention to what is happening both internally and externally. When referring to what is happening internally, we are referring to your thoughts, feelings, sensations and impulses. While externally means to focus on what is being seen, heard, smelled, and touched.
Through the use of mindfulness techniques, individuals can slow down and utilize healthy coping skills during times of distress, bring forward a sense of calmness, and avoid the development of negative thoughts and behaviours.

Distress Tolerance

This module of DBT allows for the development of skills to accept not only yourself but also your current situation. The techniques that are learned during this aspect of DBT help to diffuse a crisis through distraction, improved movement, self-soothing behaviours, and determining the pros/cons of the situation.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is learning how to decrease vulnerability to painful emotions and change emotions that you want to change. It allows for the identification of emotions being felt and if needed the changing of emotions. Learning how to recognize emotions in a positive way can help lead to more positive emotional experiences overall.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

An important aspect of DBT is learning to become more assertive within relationships and to say “no” while maintaining a sense of self-respect and positive relationships. Other important parts of interpersonal effectiveness is to learn how to ask for what you want, communicate more effectively, and deal with individuals under challenging circumstances.

Ocean with sail boats and a blue sky. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in London Ontario

Experiencing emotions and having reactions to stimuli is a normal part of human life. The important distinction is knowing we are in control of our emotions rather than our emotions being in control of us.

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