DBT has long been a highly effective form of therapeutic treatment for those grappling with the symptoms of several mental health conditions, ranging from borderline personality disorder to anxiety. The benefits of DBT are expansive.
Our mental health is something that has started getting the limelight it deserves within American society. Workplaces are encouraging employees to utilize their vacation time, families are slowing down their pace when it comes to celebrations and activities, and individuals are beginning to incorporate self-care into their everyday routines. But, it hasn’t always been this way, and for some, it still isn’t this way.
Mental illness is something that impacts one in five Americans. Depressive disorders and anxiety disorder top the list of the most pervasive mental illnesses in the country, but other conditions like personality disorders and eating disorders are also regularly occurring, too. That is why it is imperative to continue to shine the light on mental illness all while normalizing it. Thankfully, as more people begin to reach out for help, there are many appropriate means of healthcare that can address their symptoms, one of which being DBT.
What is DBT?
Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that was originally developed to help treat borderline personality disorder. It has proven to be highly effective in treating other mental illnesses over the years and now reigns as one of the top evidence-based therapies available. The overarching goal of DBT is to help individuals change their negative thinking patterns and behaviors and adjust them to be positive and productive.
DBT can be conducted in both individual and group therapy sessions. It is also possible for patients to reach out to their therapist in between therapy sessions if they need support, which is known as DBT coaching. Across each of these platforms, the four core skills of DBT are implemented and include:
- Mindfulness — Mindfulness works to help patients eliminate negative self-talk and judgment all while trying to remain present in the moment.
- Distress tolerance – Distress tolerance helps patients address distressing emotions in a healthy, non-threatening way.
- Interpersonal effectiveness – Interpersonal effectiveness helps patients improve their communication skills with others in ways that help foster healthy relationships.
- Emotional regulation — Emotional regulation shows patients how to gracefully ride the waves of emotions so that they do not become a victim of them.
Each one of these core skills can provide a patient with many benefits, all of which are focused on improving their overall mental health.
Benefits of DBT
Tending to one’s mental health is absolutely vital, regardless of if a mental illness is present or not. But for those where mental illness is occurring, therapy serves as a lifeline from the darkness of mental illness to the promise of a happy tomorrow. For decades, DBT has continued to help improve the lives of millions as a result of its many benefits.
Individuals who have a mental illness like borderline personality disorder, depression, or an eating disorder understand how difficult it can be to develop, foster, and maintain positive relationships. Part of their untreated mental illnesses likely include social withdrawal, mood swings, and lack of motivation. But when participating in DBT, these behaviors and negative response strategies can be identified and addressed so that individuals can have positive relationships with healthy boundaries.
Managing emotions well
Anytime a mental illness is occurring, it can impact a person’s emotional wellness. Mental illness can leave the door open for mood swings, bouts of mania, suicidal thoughts, and impulsivity. One of the greatest benefits of DBT is that it can help each patient identify their negative emotions and the root source of them. From there, patients can work on learning more about their emotional responses in an effort to learn how to better control them. Of course, not every emotion can be controlled all the time, but patients who learn how to handle sudden rushes of anger, fits of sadness, and even extreme euphoria can benefit greatly.
Increasing connection with oneself
DBT is as helpful as it is because it helps treat many mental illnesses that present with symptoms of self-hatred and low self-esteem. The benefits of DBT with these specific symptoms are endless, as DBT works on building up self-esteem and learning how to love oneself. One of the ways that this is done is through teaching mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about learning how to be in the present moment — no thinking of the past or the future. This activity helps patients start to reconnect with themselves in ways that help them love themselves.
Learning how to handle stress
One of the ways that DBT benefits patients is by teaching them how to learn how to handle stress. DBT is often most beneficial for those with mental illnesses where stress serves as a massive trigger for sabotaging behavior. Through individual and group therapy sessions, patients can work with a therapist to discuss how to manage stressful happenings in ways that allow them to cope with the stress in a healthy manner as opposed to harming oneself in one way or another.
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Struggling with any type of mental illness can be exhausting, overwhelming, and crippling in some cases. Continuing to live with an untreated mental illness only perpetuates the negative symptoms associated with it, which is why getting professional help is so important.
If you are in need of professional help, do not waste one more day without asking for it. We understand that the thought of getting help can feel like an impossibly difficult challenge to face, but the hardest part lies in asking for help. Once you get yourself involved, you can begin to enjoy the many benefits of DBT.
Do not wait any more to get the help that you need and deserve. If you are ready to get a hold of your mental illness and its associated symptoms, call us today. We will not only help you through this difficult time, but we will also champion you with each step you take.
Call Riviera Recovery right now to speak with an experienced, compassionate admissions counselor who can help you get started on the road to recovery.