Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is an integrative therapy that belongs to the third wave of CBT. The treatment is designed to interfere with emotional regulation and instability, and is particularly effective in cases of chronic suicidal behavior. This therapeutic approach, developed by American psychologist Prof. Marsha Lehann, has been empirically tested in several centers in the US and Europe and has been shown to be clearly effective in treating patients with borderline personality disorder.

The treatment offers holism and synthesis. The unique feature of the method is the dialectical part which means the approximation of contrasts during a continuous process of synthesis. The main dialectic is the need to create a context of validation and acceptance of the patient as it is in a tireless attempt to bring about change. The emphasis on acceptance as a basis for change originates from the integration between Zen Buddhism and Western psychology, and especially the cognitive-behavioral approach.

DBT includes individualized care, a skills learning group, a telephone liaison, and a therapy and support group for caregivers. Individual treatment is provided in several stages where the primary goals are: reducing suicidal behaviors, reducing treatment-disruptive behaviors, reducing life-threatening behaviors, and improving life skills. The skills group is taught skills of mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal efficiency and resilience in distress.

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