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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Therapy and support for Gosford and other Central Coast clients

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a hybrid of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (with the emphasis on the here and now), dialectal thinking (emphasising the limitations of rigid, categorical thinking), Zen Buddhism (the concept of Mindfulness) and metaphorical thinking (viewing situations practically). DBT was developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder and involves training in four key areas:

  1. Core Mindfulness techniques: Designed to teach focus on the present, which has the unintended consequence of unwanted thoughts being more tolerable.

  2. Interpersonal effectiveness skills: Skills to better negotiate interpersonal challenges, particularly confrontation and conflict.

  3. Emotion regulation skills: Skills intended to get rid of unhelpful and/or destructive coping strategies.

  4. Distress tolerance skills: Skills to improve capacity to regulate emotion.

What does Dialectal Behaviour Therapy (DBT) look like in practice?

DBT targets behaviours in the following order:

  • Addressing and reducing self-harm and high risk suicidal behaviours.

  • Reducing responses or behaviours that interfere with therapy.

  • Reducing behaviours that decrease quality of life.

  • Addressing Post Traumatic Stress responses.

  • Improving self-respect.

  • Providing behavioural skills (the four shown above).

  • Additional goals set by client

What issues are best treated with Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?

DBT is the most empirically validated treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. It is also effective in treating people who suffer with spectrum mood disorders (including self-harm), substance dependence and sexual abuse survivors.

More information on DBT can be found here.