Centres of Excellence -> Psychiatric Care -> Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of talk therapy (psychotherapy). Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of talk therapy (psychotherapy). It is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), but is especially adapted to people who experience emotions very intensely. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps people understand how thoughts affect emotions and behaviors.

"Dialectical" means combining opposing ideas. DBT focuses on helping people accept the reality of their lives and behaviors and learn to make changes in their lives, including their unhelpful behaviors.

The main goal is to strike a balance between affirming (accepting) who you are and your challenges and the benefits of change. Your therapist will help you learn new skills to improve emotion regulation.

Other goals of dialectical behavior therapy include:

Reducing dangerous and reckless behavior, increasing positive emotions and learning to manage stress; fully experiencing feelings and avoiding running away from strong emotions; building healthy relationships and working on life goals; opening the way to a happier future feeling complete and connected.

DBT has been shown to be effective in the treatment and management of a wide range of mental health conditions, including:

  • borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • self-harm
  • suicidal behavior
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • drug addiction disorder
  • eating disorders, especially binge eating disorder and bulimia
  • depression
  • anxiety
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