If you are seeking treatment for a psychiatric disorder or addiction, you may be considering Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). As with any type of therapy, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before deciding on a type of treatment.
Here is a look at the pros and cons of DBT therapy:
The Pros of DBT Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is an evidence-based therapy, has far more pros than cons. If you can find a trained DBT therapist in your area and can afford to undergo DBT treatment, you have an excellent opportunity to overcome even your worst symptoms and behaviors. Therapists who have expertise in DBT have the training needed to help you successfully recover from addictions and psychiatric disorders, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and gain the skills needed to improve your quality of life.
Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, you will become proficient in the four DBT skills: mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance. DBT will teach you to identify emotions as they arise and to sit with those emotions long enough to avoid acting impulsively. Dedicated patients can learn to overcome or greatly reduce emotional dysregulation and go on to lead lives that are relatively symptom-free.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy also offers patients a transparent, team approach to therapy that includes both a team of professionals who confer about your treatment, as well as other patients seeking to learn new coping skills. This means that DBT clients are supported and given feedback throughout the entire therapeutic process, which can foster a greater dedication to treatment as meaningful relationships develop and encouragement comes from peers as well as professionals.
The Cons of DBT Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is relatively new compared to other forms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. More therapists and counselors are undergoing DBT training and certification all the time, but if you live in a small town or rural area, it may not be easy to find a DBT-certified therapist. If this is the case, consider the option to do residential DBT treatment instead of outpatient DBT treatment.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy uses both group and individual therapy. The group setting is considered beneficial as it offers the empathy and support of many people who are embarking on the same journey of recovery. However, DBT skill-building lessons may be absorbed more quickly by some people than others, and patients who are highly motivated may find group sessions frustrating as they wait for others to “catch-up” and acquire DBT skills that they themselves have come to understand.
Financial considerations are always a part of determining a course of DBT treatment. Patients may find that DBT is cost-prohibitive or not covered by their insurance plan. In these instances, it may be necessary to get creative. Speak to your therapist or a local mental health counselor about options for treatment. They may surprise you with options you never knew you had.
This may be considered a con to many and a pro to others, but Dialectical Behavior Therapy takes a lot of commitment. You have to be willing to put in the work and dedication needed to make DBT a successful mode of treatment. Both the patient and therapist have to be dedicated to the practice of DBT, which involves regular individual therapy, DBT skills groups, phone coaching, diary cards, and incorporating the DBT skills into everyday life.
More on DBT Therapy
As with any treatment, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before determining what will work best given your particular diagnosis and situation. If you are curious if Dialectical Behavior Therapy would work for you, call a DBT treatment center to get more information.