DBT is an evidence-based treatment where the primary concern is of overwhelming emotions, impulsivity, conflict or relationship difficulties or impulsivity or social difficulties. This has included Autism Spectrum Disorder, anger, anxiety, bipolar, depression, Eating Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and some Personality Disorders.
DBT has four main components;
Emotional Regulation; to help understand the function of emotions, what makes us vulnerable to our emotional state, the action urges that accompany each emotion, and whether to follow or oppose these compulsions as they occur. We also explore how to increase the frequency of positive emotions and decrease negative emotions.
Interpersonal Effectiveness; skills are designed to build and maintain positive relationships, establish boundaries within relationships and increase self-respect as well as assertiveness and develop effective communication skills and reduce conflict.
Mindfulness; DBT works to address impulsivity through the use of Mindfulness. This is particularly key in PTSD as it helps clients to distinguish between what is occurring in the present moment from what may be a prior trigger or a future-focused fear.
DBT also uses Distress Tolerance or crisis survival skills to help clients who may have experienced impulsive behaviours, substance use, suicidal ideation or other maladaptive coping mechanisms to replace these behaviours with strategies to help them manage their own pain and suffering in a healthy and more adaptive way. In this stage the focus is to help clients in circumstances where they may not be able to control the situation and instead need to focus on their own response to the external stimuli.
At Adelaide Psychological Services we provide both individual and group based DBT services to help clients build their skills in self-soothing and engage in longer term goals to improve their quality of life to work towards a “life worth living”.