Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Calgary
Research has shown that DBT has a much wider application and is effective for several conditions including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, eating disorders, self-destructive behaviours, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
DBT is based on the principle of dialectics - by integrating and finding a balance between opposites. The main dialectic of DBT is acceptance and change, intending to find a balance in between.
Therapeutic Models of DBT
DBT therapeutic focus consists of four modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.
1. Distress Tolerance skills allow you to cope better in stressful or painful situations. The focus is on building up your resilience to deal with distress. By building up skills to distract, self-soothe, relax and accept, you are better able to cope with your overwhelming emotions.
2. Mindfulness is learning to “live in the moment”. The focus is on being present, mindful and accepting. Mindfulness is achieved by bringing awareness to your thoughts, emotions, sensations and actions. Also, mindfulness is being able to hold a non-judgmental perspective. By slowing you down and creating calmness, it can reduce negative thoughts and impulsive behaviours.
3. Emotional regulation is learning to identify, recognize, manage and change our emotions.
We learn to not allow our emotions to overwhelm us which reduces the likelihood of impulsive or destructive reactions.
4. Interpersonal effectiveness is understanding our beliefs and needs and expressing them to others healthily and respectfully. We also learn to set appropriate boundaries where necessary. Interpersonal effectiveness includes social skills, assertiveness, and listening, and negotiation skills. By improving our interpersonal effectiveness we are better able to maintain and improve our relationships.
What Can I Expect During DBT
DBT can be delivered in several methods
Any combination thereof
The particular delivery of DBT varies and is dependent on the client, therapist and situation
In individual counselling sessions, you will work one-on-one with your therapist to address concerns, create goals and outline a plan of action. Your therapist will support and motivate you as you learn DBT skills and techniques which can be applied to real-life situations.
In DBT groups, participants learn and practice skills with one another. Members learn from the experience of their peers and are there to offer one another support. Groups are lead by a trained therapist who will teach skills and lead exercises. The therapist may assign homework to complete at home.
Phone coaching involves patients calling the therapist in between sessions to receive guidance in situations of crisis. Phone sessions are to aid clients in regulating emotions and applying skills in real-life situations.