The Six Main Points of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

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Plenty of programs are out there that practice a one-size-fits-all approach to treating mental health disorders. Montare Behavioral Health in Tucson opened our doors to provide cutting-edge treatment for people who struggle with a variety of mental illnesses. We tailor our treatment to meet the needs of each individual. Part of our overall plan to provide access to multi-disciplinary therapies is providing dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). 

Our staff of highly experienced mental health therapists and other clinicians works with a diverse population of people who can benefit from this life-changing therapy. DBT helps people gain control they can’t get from other treatment plans and carry it into their post-treatment lives. We offer concrete support and answers to how to empower yourself to enjoy better mental health. 

History of Dialectical Behavior Therapy 

Dialectical behavior therapy has become widespread in its usage but who created DBT? Its creation arose from an effort made by Dr. Marsha Linehan to find treatment for suicidal women with multiple mental health issues. Linehan combined evidence-based and cognitive-behavioral therapeutic interventions to help her patients learn to accept themselves, their emotions, and other people. Eventually, DBT came into use as a new way to treat people with borderline personality disorder. Since then, DBT has become a popular way to help treat several types of mental health disorders and is used in private practice, residential, and outpatient clinics. People can participate in dialectical behavior therapy in one-on-one sessions or as part of group therapy. 

The Six Main Points of Dialectical Behavior Therapy 

The process of engaging in dialectical behavior therapy includes addressing and learning the specifics of six separate points. The points are dialectical thinking, mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and validation. 

1. Dialectical Thinking

This cornerstone of dialectical behavior therapy informs how the entire series of steps works. People learn that they can accept two opposing ideas or perspectives and integrate them in ways that evoke positive changes within themselves. This process helps end a debilitating habit of seeing everything as black or white and instead see the nuances that fill the spaces. As a result, the individual adopts the art of accepting themselves in their current state while putting in concentrated efforts to achieve a better balance. The individual begins by hearing their therapist provide alternative viewpoints that create dialogues the person previously might not have tolerated. 

2. Mindfulness

This point proves helpful because people with mental health disorders tend to react negatively out of habit. Mindfulness teaches a person to identify their feelings and reactions that take place internally without being consumed with negativity or acting out in self-destructive manners. Becoming non-judgmental about emotions means a person can become aware of them without leap-frogging to maladaptive reactions. With practice, the individual makes healthier choices and implements healthy coping mechanisms. 

3. Emotion Regulation

A common thread in all mental health disorders is difficulty regulating one’s emotions. A core skill people learn to develop in dialectical behavior therapy is how to identify and then regulate their emotions. Once someone recognizes their power to control their emotions, they can begin to make real progress in treatment. This decreases their need to engage in self-harm or abuse substances because they no longer feel overwhelmed by explosive emotions. 

4. Distress Tolerance

A large part of poor mental health includes an influential amount of distress that overwhelms people. With an absence of coping skills, both big events and inconsequential happenings end up worsening a person’s mental illness symptoms. The therapist teaches the individual how to reframe their distress and use newly adopted healthy coping skills to decrease how it affects them. Skills taught include how to distract and self-soothe when feeling distressed. 

5. Interpersonal Effectiveness

When someone has a mental illness, they typically struggle to communicate and interact effectively with other people. Even relationships with partners, family, and close friends can be negatively affected by the frayed cords of communication. Skills that teach interpersonal effectiveness help people establish and maintain boundaries and respect those set by those around them. As the individual becomes skilled at the give and take of speaking with others and how to resolve conflicts, their ability to enjoy familial relationships and social situations increases.

6. Validation

Enduring a mental health disorder often leaves a person without feeling validated. They feel alone and as if no one understands the depths of their suffering. Consequently, many people with mental illnesses isolate from others. In fact, isolation on its own can contribute to mental illness. DBT helps them to learn how to feel validated and valuable. Their morale improves as they discover the confidence that feeling heard and understood by others brings. This new state of being allows the individual to accept themselves and feel more inclined to work toward permanent change in their mental health. 

Explore Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Your Mental Health Today

Have you sought treatment for a mental health disorder previously but found other programs failed at giving you the life-changing help you deserve? Montare Behavioral Health in Tucson offers a treatment plan tailored to meet the specific needs of each person. We believe in giving people multi-level choices for therapy that change how they think, feel, and act. Our staff is trained to work with people in dialectical behavior therapy sessions that use six different points to boost their mental health. Our inviting residential environment gives you a safe place to land while you discover how to heal.

For more information about our life-changing program, contact us today. We can answer your questions and provide a free insurance verification.