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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Various Mental Health Disorders

The dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns and encourage positive behavior changes. DBT can be used to treat suicide and self-destructive behavior. It teaches patients skills to cope with, and change, unhealthy behaviors. You can also learn about dbt skills online through

What’s unique about dialectic behavior therapy?

The term “dialectical” comes from the idea that bringing together two opposites in therapy — acceptance and change that brings better results than either one alone. A unique aspect of DBT is its focus on acceptance of a patient’s experience as a way for therapists to reassure them and balance the work needed to change negative behaviors.

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Standard comprehensive DBT has four parts:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group skills training
  • Phone coaching, if needed for crises between sessions
  • Consultation group for health care providers to stay motivated and discuss patient care

Patients agree to do homework to practice new skills. This includes filling out daily “diary cards” to track more than 40 emotions, urges, behaviors, and skills, such as lying, self-injury, or self-respect.