Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was originally developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT has been proven to be an effective treatment for other disorders as well, including eating disorders and addiction. Although DBT is designed as an outpatient therapy, we are proud to offer DBT skills groups for our adolescent and adult patients at Forest View. Most of our patients attend the groups regardless of diagnosis. Feedback from our participants has been very positive.
The word “dialectical” may be a new word for you. Life is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. There are times when there is more than right answer and other times when there is no single right answer. Dialectics are about holding things in balance that seem to be contradictory, mismatched, or in direct competition with each other. When we learn to think in dialectic terms we move away from extremes (“either/or”, “all or nothing” thinking) toward the middle ground. We learn to balance life situations by thinking dialectically. Look at the extremes in the following statements:
- I don’t want to be in pain but I don’t want to change
- I believe that reality is out of my control but I’ll still continue in controlling behavior
- I want my life to be better but I still want to engage in self-destructive behavior
- I want my life to be easy but I spend a lot of energy making it harder than it needs to be
- I demand respect while being disrespectful of others and myself.
- I want to be treated like an adult but I will behave in immature ways.
- I want help but I reject support.
Forest View provides DBT skills to learn to move away from the extremes, and begin to build a life worth living. Skills taught in classes include:
- Mindfulness: How to observe and be aware of what is going on in the moment with being judgmental.
- Emotion Regulation: How to appropriately label and manage our emotions.
- Distress Tolerance: How to manage emotions that are difficult without resorting to old, destructive habits.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness: How to get along with other people, while asserting ourselves and getting our needs met.