Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an improvement over Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and is used to treat people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) which is also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). This method of treatment was developed by Marsha Linehan.
The need for DBT was felt as many people undergoing treatment with CBT felt that it did not address their basic concern – their sufferings and the failure to take control over their lives. As CBT focused entirely on bringing about a change in behavior, the cause of the abnormal behavior was not addressed. Hence patients who have suffered from extreme conditions and were highly emotionally sensitive, found it repressive, stressful and annoying.
But DBT addresses these concerns and has an “It’s OK” approach, which makes the patients feel relaxed; who then feel encouraged to take the next step – self improvement and a change in approach towards solving the problems. Hence there are several benefits in this method of treatment. These benefits are mentioned and explained below.
Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Since the emphasis is on understanding and encouragement, this method proves successful in weaning away the highly stressful and those with a self destructive tendency.
* DBT is successful in treating patients showing self harming behavior. This is immensely helpful in case of women who are often susceptible to this condition. It reduces such self destructive tendencies and helps them realize the harm they cause to themselves.
* DBT reduces suicidal tendencies in patients who are prone to such. This therapy increases the tolerance levels for stress and reduces impulsivity.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
* DBT helps regulate emotions making it possible for the patient to first understand his condition, then gain control over the intensity of his emotions. This also helps in reducing the explosive reactions in the patient.
* DBT brings about a focus in the wavering wandering minds of the highly stressed people who will be suffering from extremes of emotions. This also directs the patient on to the path of understanding his surroundings and finding a way to solve his problems.
* DBT is especially useful in tackling problems and adverse behaviors in teenagers as it provides them some form of relief instead of forcing them into accepting some corrective form of behavior which they feel is being imposed on them from the outside. The rebellious and brash nature or meek nature common in highly emotional teenagers can be reduced. This will provide an avenue to the teenager to use to solve his problems.
* DBT is helpful in reducing the feeling of hopelessness that forms the basis of stress and extreme emotions in many disturbed people. Once this is done, CBT can be used to encourage them to adopt a different perspective.
* DBT is also very useful in people who get trapped in substance abuse, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and depression as it explains to them that such actions are not in their best interest and does them harm instead of good.
* DBT improves interpersonal relationships in people who are victims; who have had to endure a lot of stress and bad times. This helps them get together with their families, friends, relatives, neighbors and other loved ones.
* DBT reduces animosity and interference between the patient and his doctor. Such a feeling proves a hindrance during treatment and will not help the doctor treat the patient. With a more relaxed approach under DBT, the patient will find it easy to understand the CBT processes and accept them.
* Increases the self respect in the minds of the patients.
* Enables the patient to better handle post traumatic stress and lead a meaningful life. This is also the reason why DBT is very useful in treating borderline personality disorder.
Dialectical behavior therapy fills the gap which can prevent the failure of the CBT approach. It improves the relationship between the treating doctor and his patient, thus enabling both to understand each other and work towards improvement. With this different approach, it is no wonder that DBT has helped many who would have otherwise remained cut off.