DBT Therapy is one of several treatments that Dr. Chantal offers for problems and mental health disorders that involve strong emotions or difficulty managing emotions. She has attended training workshops with DBT founder, Dr. Marsha Linehan.
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
DBT Therapy is a supportive, collaborative, Cognitive-Behavioral counseling approach that has been shown to be very effective in treating anxiety, depression, emotion regulation problems (extreme emotions or difficulty tolerating unpleasant emotions), self-harm behaviors and Borderline Personality Disorder.
The History of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
In her youth, Dr. Marsha Linehan was hospitalized for schizophrenia and treated with electric shock therapy. Seven years later, she graduate cum laude from Layola University and went on to earn her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology (Dr. Chantal’s Ph.D. is also in Social and Personality Psychology). Dr. Linehan’s own mental illness inspired her to invent DBT. After spending some time learning meditation and Eastern mindfulness practices, Dr. Linehan began to develop the components of what is now called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Before the invention of DBT, Borderline Personality Disorder was considered one of the most difficult to treat of all the personality disorders. Now, DBT has become the gold standard in treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and BPD is now considered to be a personality disorder that can be completely resolved with long-term, effective treatment.
Components and Skills of DBT Therapy
While DBT Therapy in its purest form is done by an entire treatment team and comprises four components: skills training group, individual therapy, phone coaching, and therapist consultation, Dr. Chantal is able to apply many of those components in an individual therapy, private-practice setting. She does this by providing DBT-focused individual therapy, giving DBT skills training homework assignments, and participation in a therapist consultation group with other colleagues who have diverse training, including DBT.
The skills taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy are:
This skills set helps individuals learn to tolerate difficult emotions and not feel overwhelmed by them.
This set of skills and techniques teaches individuals how to let go of negative emotions, reduce the intensity of negative emotions, and transform the negative emotions into neutral or more positive feelings.
Mindfulness skills help to ground you in the present moment, and prevent your strong emotions from taking you on a wild ride!
The interpersonal effectiveness component of DBT helps individuals learn to get their needs met in relationships, while maintaining respect for the other person. The skills taught in this component will help you be more effective at getting your needs met without damaging your relationships.
Research has shown that the skills taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy are very effective at helping with a wide range of emotional, interpersonal, and personality problems.
What does DBT Help With?
DBT can help improve and stabilize mood, decrease anxiety, decrease suicidal and self-injurious behavior (like cutting), reduce anger, reduce psychiatric hospitalizations, and improve overall social functioning and well-being.
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