Dialectical behavior therapy, also known as DBT, is a common mental health treatment technique used to treat a variety of mental health struggles. This modified form of CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, allows people to learn to live in the moment, regulate emotions, cope with stress, and improve relationships with those around them. Originally developed to address borderline personality disorder (BPD), mental health professionals have adapted it to address other mental health concerns.
At Atlanta Center for Mental Health, we have used DBT as part of our treatment plans for many conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-destructive behaviors, and even substance use disorders. Our dedicated and professional team is well-versed in DBT and its uses and is prepared to use DBT and other evidence-based practices to alleviate difficult mental health struggles. To learn more about how DBT can help you or a loved one, call 833.625.0458.
Common Techniques in a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
At Atlanta Center for Mental Health, we are often asked about the techniques we use in our Atlanta DBT program. We have outlined some common strategies we utilize so that our clients have a better understanding of what they may experience during dialectical behavior therapy.
1. Core Mindfulness
One of the critical techniques our dialectical behavior therapists use is helping our clients develop mindfulness skills. Clients can focus on the moment through mindfulness rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on past mistakes. Mindfulness allows clients to pay attention to everything that is happening inside them, including:
They can also help clients to tune into everything that is happening around them in the present in a nonjudgmental way.
In addition, mindfulness can teach clients to focus on using healthy and effective coping strategies in the midst of emotional or mental pain. As a result, many clients are able to remain calm and free from the automatic impulsive behaviors and thought patterns that they may have struggled with in the past.
2. Distress Tolerance
Another critical strategy that we teach through our dialectical behavior therapy program is distress tolerance. Through this skill, clients can accept their current situations and ground themselves in times of crisis. This allows our clients to deal with the painful or distressing parts of life that they currently struggle with. We may recommend a range of techniques as part of distress tolerance, including:
- Distracting yourself
- Improving the situations
- Thinking about their goals and actions
With the help of dialectical behavior therapy and distress tolerance techniques, many clients can prepare themselves for intense emotions. They can then learn to cope with them, ensuring that when these situations arise, they are manageable.
3. Emotional Regulation
Another technique we may recommend to the clients in our dialectical behavior therapy program is emotional regulation. Through this strategy, clients can navigate intense feelings more effectively. In addition, they can identify, name, and change their emotions at the moment, rather than letting the emotions rule their life. Through this dialectical behavior therapy technique, clients can reduce their emotional vulnerability and have a greater number of positive and healthy emotional experiences.
Learn How a Dialectical Behavioral Therapist Can Help You at Atlanta Center for Mental Health
While each of the strategies above can be useful in day-to-day life, it is critical to use them in conjunction with one another. Unfortunately, this may not be as simple as it sounds. However, our team of experienced and highly-qualified DBT therapists can effectively teach these strategies to our clients, allowing them to live healthier lives outside of our program. We may recommend our dialectical behavior therapy program for a wide array of conditions, including:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance use disorders
Your mental health condition doesn’t have to rule your life anymore. With the help of our Atlanta DBT program, you can manage and overcome your condition, allowing you to begin the healing process. Please contact Atlanta Center for Mental Health today at 833.625.0458 to learn more about our treatment options.