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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D. Updated: Jun 5th 2019

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a hybrid form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Like CBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy an evidence-based practice.

Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. (Linehan, 1993) developed DBT. Linehan noticed that some of her therapy participants were highly reactive to the change emphasis of CBT. Their sensitivity to requests for change made it difficult for them to benefit from CBT. Linehan concluded that the change emphasis of CBT was profoundly invalidating to certain highly sensitive patients. Therefore, Linehan added an acceptance component to her treatment approach. She began to encourage therapy participants to both accept themselves, and to change their behavior. DBT is "dialectical" because acceptance and change are seemingly incompatible agendas. However, it is clear that some therapy participants can only begin to change once they truly accept themselves and their current situation. To promote such acceptance, DBT teaches mindfulness. Mindfulness refers to the non-judgmental observation of moment-to-moment awareness. Mindfulness techniques borrow heavily from Eastern meditative practices. Research suggests that DBT may be particularly effective in addiction treatment for individuals with borderline personality disorders.

 

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D.

Practical Recovery, established in 1985, is the world's leader in collaborative addiction treatment. Located in San Diego, California (USA), we offer a full range inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services that are customized for each person. We rely on proven methods, informed by the latest neuroscience and addictions research. Our methods empower people to create their own solutions for healthy living, rather than relying on the 12-step powerlessness approach. Most services are provided by doctoral level, university-trained clinicians. We provide individual and group sessions; medications and detox as needed; flexible length of stay; and optional holistic healing. We offer modern comforts and conveniences such as private rooms; gourmet meals; excursions to the beach; mobile communication; and computer access. For a complimentary consultation, call 800-977-6110.

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