Although DBT is best done with both individual and group therapy with a therapist who specializes in the technique, my daughter used self-directed workbooks (included at the bottom) and assistance from her individual psychotherapist. Prior to starting the DBT, she had already been using the technique of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to deal with the manifestation of anxiety.
We have a guest poster writing about DBT, Lindsey Webster. Ms. Webster has been a rehabilitation counselor for 15 years and owns the site Masters in Counseling. The site serves as a great resource for new students looking to find all the information they need about obtaining a Masters degree in Counseling. She has a Master's degree in Social Work.
The Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Those with Anxiety Disorders
In recent years, more research has been done to verify the benefits of combining dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for those with anxiety disorders. There is a large amount of evidence to support the theory that using both CBT and DBT to treat anxiety disorders is a better approach than just using CBT alone.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was originally developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder. This type of therapy uses the concepts of acceptance and mindfulness to help give the patient a better understanding of their disorder in the present moment. The concept of mindfulness (or awareness) was taken from Buddhist meditative practices that have been used for thousands of years. .
Marsha Linehan, the psychology researcher who developed the dialectical behavior system of therapy, noted in her research that the chronically suicidal patients she studied required unconditional acceptance, because they had been raised in an environment which offered little acceptance. For this reason, therapists who use DBT want the patient to view them as an ally in all things. When the patient tells the therapist about their feelings and behaviors, the therapist accepts those feelings and behaviors while, at the same time, showing the patient a better way to view and handle the situations that create those unsettling emotions and actions. .
The goal of being mindful in DBT is aided by the patient noting and recording all issues that arise during the week in a diary. These issues are discussed during their next counseling session. Debilitating behaviors are listed in order of severity, with self-injurious and suicidal behaviors first, behaviors interfering with treatment second and quality of life issues third. A patient should work at improving the most austere behaviors first before improving less serious behaviors. .
There is also a group therapy component to DBT. The group meets to learn and discuss skills that are organized into four modules: core mindfulness skills, emotion regulation skills, interpersonal effectiveness skills and distress tolerance skills.
When combined with cognitive behavior therapy (the most common type of therapy used for the treatment of anxiety disorders), dialectical behavior therapy acts as additional support and teaches the patient to always be aware of their emotions and actions and to accept and tolerate stress. .
Both CBT and DBT provide patients who suffer from anxiety disorders an opportunity to talk about their disorder in an accepting environment. It is important to note that some studies have shown that talking about your anxiety (and trying to find reasons why and how you can overcome it) can be just as effective, if not more effective, as taking an anti-anxiety medication. For this reason, it is almost necessary that those who suffer from an anxiety disorder combine some form of cognitive behavior and/or dialectical behavior therapy with medicinal treatments. Using both counseling and medicine will ensure the best chance of improvement for the patient.
Lindsey Webster has been a rehabilitation counselor for 15 years and also owns the site Masters in Counseling. She likes to write about different topics related to counseling and careers.
For A Child:
- Looking Beyond the Symptoms – An Integrative Approach
- Recovered - No Longer on Psychiatric Medications
- No Longer Bipolar / No longer Schizophrenic - Recovered, In Remission, or Misdiagnosed ???
- Bipolar and Off Meds - Part 1
- Bipolar and Off Meds - Part 2
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Last Updated: 28 December 2011