Using a compassionate stance toward clients, the assumption in DBT is that the client cannot fail. This cognitive behavioral approach was created to help people develop healthy ways to cope with stress, to teach people how to live in the moment, how to regulate their emotions, and how to improve relationships with others. It is helpful for those struggling with emotional regulation and who are exhibiting self destructive behaviors. In therapy, the therapist works with the client to resolve the contradiction between self acceptance and positive behavioral change.
There are three components to DBT
1. Individual Therapy: Learned behavioral skills are adapted to the clients personal life.
2. Phone Coaching: Clients can call their individual therapy in between sessions to receive guidance on how to apply skills in their everyday life.
3. Skills Training: Clients are taught behavioral skills in the areas of mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. They are given homework each week to build positive habits.
Core Mindfulness: Mindfulness skills help you focus on the present moment by learning how to pay attention to what's happening inside you (sensations, feelings, thoughts, impulses) and what's happening in the world around you in a non-judgmental way. These learned skills help people slow down and focus on healthy coping strategies rather than being impulsive or engaging in negative thought patterns.
Distress Tolerance: Distress tolerance skills help you accept yourself and your situation, using distraction and self soothing techniques, pros and cons problem solving, and learning how to improve the moment you are in.
Emotional Regulation: Emotional regulation skills equip clients with tools to navigate intense emotions in a healthy and effective way. This can reduce emotional vulnerability and increase positive emotional experiences.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: These skills help you gain more fulfilling relationships by increasing assertiveness, self respect and respect for others, validation, healthy boundary setting, and effective listening.