DBT is a different form of cognitive behaviour therapy that was originally developed to treat people who experience extreme swings in their emotions and have the tendency to see themselves, their world and their relationships in quite a “black-and-white” way. This can cause high levels of emotional reactivity, anger, anxiety, depression or self-destructive behaviours. DBT incorporates four core modules for managing these experiences, including mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation.
Dialectical- the integration or “bringing together” of opposites, such as change and acceptance
Mindfulness- the practice of paying attention to present moment experiences with an attitude of acceptance and non-judgement
Interpersonal effectiveness- being able to communicate in order to get your needs met or to say no without distress or rupturing relationships
Distress tolerance- increasing your capacity to deal with pain or distress without immediately needing to escape it
Emotional regulation- being able to adjust or balance your emotional experiences in response to difficult situations and delay unhelpful reactions