Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, first began in the 1990s. It was originally used for women with borderline personality disorder, but now therapists use it for a wide variety of conditions.
Are you considering doing dialectical behavior therapy? DBT is one of the most intense types of therapy, but it might be the best therapy for you. We’re here with a few tips that can help you out.
Read on to learn more.
1. Choose the Right Therapist
Any time you’re starting a new kind of therapy, it’s important that you find the best therapist for you. Dialectical behavioral therapy requires a strong patient/therapist relationship, so you need to find a therapist that you can trust.
DBT is a specialty, so most therapists don’t use it in their practice. You need to find someone with plenty of experience with DBT as it applies to your specific condition.
2. Trust the Process
DBT is an evidence-based therapy, and for many people who try it, it’s a lifesaver. Read this article on evidence based therapy styles for more information.
With that in mind, it’s tough. It’s not like standard talk therapy in which the therapist does most of the work. Patients have to work hard during this type of behavior therapy if they want to see results.
Sometimes it’s going to seem impossible and you’ll want to give up early. One of the top reasons that DBT fails is because the patient stopped going to appointments or doing their self-work at home.
Even when things get tough, trust the process if you want therapy to be effective.
3. Speak Up
Trusting the process doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t speak up when you feel like something isn’t working for you. If you truly feel like the therapist’s methods are too intense, not intense enough, or just ineffective, you’re allowed to mention this.
Remember that your therapist is there to give you tools that you can use for self-healing. If you’re not telling them that those tools aren’t working, they won’t know how to help you.
If you’ve been doing all of your homework, going to all of your sessions, and following all of your therapist’s instructions and it’s still not effective, talk to your therapist so you can change course.
4. Do Your Homework
Many forms of therapy involve homework of some kind, but DBT has a legitimate workbook associated with it that a therapist will assign to you. Don’t worry, you’re not being graded. The workbook will keep you on track when you’re not in sessions.
The workbook contains things that will help patients build skills in emotional regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and emotional regulation. There may be things to write down or activities to do off the page.
If you’re not doing your homework, you’re not committing to DBT (even if you’re going to all of your sessions).
Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy Isn’t Easy
Doing dialectical behavior therapy is a challenge, but it’s a worthwhile one. You may find that DBT is the solution that you’ve been looking for. You just have to stick with it and trust the process.
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