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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Just as there is no “one size fits all” approach to addiction treatment, there is also no one type of therapy that is right for everyone. Dialectical behavior therapy or DBT is one form that is often effective when other methods have proven unsuccessful.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, a leading psychologist at the University of Washington. Dr. Linehan developed this therapy when she learned that traditional methods of treating patients with borderline personality disorder were not being effective. It has since been used to treat individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and eating disorders.

There are generally three components of DBT:

  • Group therapy sessions, which are focused on teaching behavioral skills. A typical session will last 2.5 hours and run for a period of up to 24 weeks.
  • Individual therapy sessions, which are normally held once per week, and run concurrently with group therapy sessions. In these sessions, participants are taught ways of dealing with any current challenges they are facing.
  • Phone coaching, which happens on an “as needed” basis to help people use coping skills to deal with situations in the moment.

Who Can Benefit from Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Individuals who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or another type of personality disorder may benefit from DBT, particularly if they have noticed few if any results from conventional therapy.

How Does DBT Differ from other Therapies?

Although DBT is cognitive-based, it differs from cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) by expanding on it to address specific concerns that are often not addressed. For example, DBT deals with how a patient interacts with others in different settings. DBT therapy is based on the premise that some people react in unusual manners more so than others, and may, therefore, require a different approach to treatment.

What Can a Person Accomplish Through DBT?

A few of the things a person with DBT might be able to accomplish includes learning how to:

  • Better control his or her emotions
  • Accept traumatic life events and manage the struggles that have resulted from them
  • Relate with others

How North Coast Recovery Can Help

North Coast Recovery is an outpatient treatment rehab center in the Pacific Northwest serving the Portland Metro Area, Hillsboro, Beaverton and surrounding areas in Oregon as well as Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver and the I-5 corridor in Washington and Oregon. Contact us for more information and to learn how North Coast Recovery can help you or a family member.

North Coast Recovery, a place of healing…a place of hope.