What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy was developed by Marsha Linehan and DBT IS extraordinarily effective at helping people
manage overwhelming emotions. DBT promotes the balance between change and acceptance (Linehan, 1993a). People
need to change the behaviors in their life that are creating more suffering for themselves and others while simultaneously
also accepting themselves the way they are. DBT depends on acceptance and change, not acceptance or change.
Benefits of DBT
1. DBT strengthens a person’s ability to handle distress without losing control or acting destructively.
2. DBT helps you keep your balance when strong emotions overwhelm you.
3. DBT facilitates acceptance of your emotions without judgment so as to handle the emotions in a Healthy way.
4 Skills of DBT
1. Distress tolerance will help you cope better with painful events by building up your resiliency and giving you new ways to
soften the effects of upsetting circumstances.
2. Mindfulness will help you experience more fully the present moment while focusing less on painful
experiences from the past or frightening possibilities in the future. Mindfulness will also give you tools
Overcome habitual, negative judgments about yourself and others.
3. Emotion regulation skills help you to recognize more clearly what you feel and then to observe each
emotion without getting overwhelmed by it. The goal is to modulate your feelings without behaving in
reactive, destructive ways.
4. Interpersonal effectiveness gives you new tools to express your beliefs and needs, set limits, and
negotiate solutions to problems- all while protecting your relationships and treating others with
(Taken from The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew Mckay, Jeffrey.C and Jeffrey B)