Basic Facts About DBT

  • DBT – (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is a treatment and self-management approach used in either individual, or group therapy settings.
  • It is designed to enhance life and influence you to “build a life worth living”.
  • The premise is for you to take ownership of your life by learning how to cope effectively, instead of living in quiet desperation. 

Over 70 common sense, practical skills are offered, compiled into 4 modules;

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Distress Tolerance
  3. Emotion Regulation
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness

You are afforded the opportunity to become educated and learn the DBT skills on your own timetable, one-by-one, step-by-step, with the support of a trained DBT therapist such as Pat Sumlin, LMFT. Practice makes progress. Each skill you learn and practice within the framework of your current lifestyle will enable you to become healthier and happier. No need to wait, or look any further. Help is here NOW. This is a core concept of DBT; the present matters. Of course, the past and future have their place and, on the other hand, losing sight of today chips away at the quality of life.

It is not unusual for clients, such as yourself, who may be emotionally vulnerable, fragile, or overwhelmed when confronted by either everyday problems, difficult life circumstances, suicidal ideation or specific issues, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, personality disorders, or addictive behaviors, to search out DBT. After all, it is an evidence-based treatment and meant for people who struggle with rapidly shifting emotions, racing thoughts, or life threatening behavior. DBT is an empirically-supported treatment that will dramatically improve your ability to end destructive relationships, start new relationships, and improve current ones.

Instead of an emphasis on changing your thoughts, DBT is modified to protect against an “invalidating environment”. Although insightful discussions can be helpful, learning validation, how to balance acceptance and change, as well as ways to embrace “dialectics,” is critical. Everything is connected in some way, change is inevitable, opposites can be integrated, and being with reality is the best approach to understand the reasons life has been so hard. Getting unstuck, seeing yourself and others through kinder eyes, walking the middle path, and learning how to trust, means incorporating a host of skills that will enable you to transform your life.

Emotional intelligence consists of patience, discernment, the ability to create personal boundaries, set limits, protect one’s own self-interest, recognize that co-perspectives exist, repair vs. repeat, make lemonade from lemons, take responsibility for oneself, advocate for living and recognize there is no point in going to an empty well expecting water. Like a breath of fresh air, DBT illuminates one’s awareness of personal advocacy, citizenship, stability, and sense of humanity. In addition, it is fun and interesting too. It’s about living in hope, making meaning, and allowing yourself the space to feel unconditional positive regard. Making peace with yourself and others requires that you start building your physical, emotional, and spiritual life on solid ground. Learn to solve problems, move toward connecting with others, and stop suffering in silence.