Before you enter any type of treatment for a psychiatric disorder or addiction, you will be given an assessment to determine the severity of your symptoms and the type of treatment you need. As part of that assessment, it will often be determined if Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) will work to treat your psychiatric disorder or addiction.
Depending on what you are receiving treatment for, your treating psychiatrist or therapist may have already told you that Dialectical Behavior Therapy would be a worthwhile treatment. For example, if you are seeking treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), you may have discovered that DBT is the most successful way to manage your BPD symptoms and recover from the disorder.
Factors to Consider for DBT Therapy
Your therapist or a DBT treatment center will take the following factors into consideration when determining if DBT therapy is going to benefit you:
- Your diagnosis. DBT is more successful at treating some disorder than others, and is not always recommended depending on your specific diagnosis.
- The presence of co-occurring disorders. If you are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, such as BPD and Bipolar Disorder, treatment can be more complicated. Whether or not DBT will be an effective treatment will vary based on which co-occurring disorder is more prevalent and the severity of your symptoms.
- The type of treatment you’ve received in the past. If you’ve already attempted DBT therapy without any results, it may not be recommended that you try it again. Your treatment history will be considered when deciding if DBT therapy should be used.
- Therapy-interfering behaviors. If you are unmotivated to put in the time and effort required for successful DBT therapy or you regularly skip your therapy sessions, DBT therapy may not be right for you. DBT therapy is made up of several components – individual DBT therapy, DBT skills groups, phone coaching with a DBT therapist, and homework assignments – that require a commitment to your recovery.
- Your willingness to be in treatment. Of course, as with any type of therapy or treatment for a psychiatric disorder or addiction, you have to be open to learning new things and willing to admit to parts of yourself that you may have been able to avoid in the past. During DBT therapy, you will learn four DBT skills – mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation. How successful you are in DBT often depends on how willing you are to learn these new skills, practice them, and incorporate them into your daily life.
Finding DBT Therapy
While you may have an idea that Dialectical Behavior Therapy will work for you, it’s best to have a professional make that determination. If you are in therapy, talk to your therapist about DBT and their thoughts on if it will be beneficial for you. If you aren’t in therapy, call a DBT treatment center that specializes in DBT therapy and can answer your questions.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy has proven to be successful in treating a number of psychiatric disorders, including Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, as well as substance abuse. There’s a good chance that DBT will be beneficial in your recovery, so take time to find out if it’s a suitable treatment for you.