Do you feel your mind is being pulled in a hundred different directions at once? Do you have a hard time handling some of your emotions, and does this cause any problems in your relationships?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) offers individuals skills to manage painful memories and emotions and decrease conflicts in their relationships. This modality focuses on 4 specific areas of therapeutic skill building. These are:
- Mindfulness – Helps individuals be present in the current moment.
- Distress tolerance – Most people try and keep themselves safe from all negative emotions. Distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotions.
- Emotion regulation – Offers strategies to manage intense emotions that are the root cause of problems in a person’s life.
- Interpersonal effectiveness – These techniques allow an individual to communicate with others in a confident, assertive way that maintains self-respect and strengthens relationships.
How Does it Work Exactly?
Many of us live our daily lives with a constant stream of uncontrollable negative emotions right under our awareness. These emotions affect how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with other people, including friends, romantic partners, and family members.
DBT essentially works with individuals to help them find ways to manage their negative emotions so they can feel balanced, in control, and able to interact respectfully and successfully. The message at the heart of DBT is acceptance and change.