What is DBT?

By no means will Snow be a replacement for a DBT Therapy group. On Snow I will post skills and things I learned through DBT. If you learn a lot and seem to find a lot of breakthrough I encourage you to go to a DBT group in your community. The experience of actually going to the group will help you so much. It will be worth it to go! By the time I was admitted to the hospital I had already tried therapy but it didn’t work. When I found DBT everything changed. DBT saved my life. I was finally taught the skills I needed to master over triggers and deal with emotions. I firmly believe DBT can help anyone!

Description and info about DBT from my binder:

DBT’s purpose is to help you cope more effectively with your pain and reduce frequency of crisis in your life. DBT can also provide you with a variety of skills to help you deal with issues like past abuse or loss that you may be healing from. Therefore, we will teach you how to decrease the following:
Life- threatening behaviors (like self-injury, suicide attempts, anorexia, etc)
Behaviors that seriously interfere with your treatment (not trusting anyone)
Behaviors that severely damage your quality of life and relationships (like fighting a lot or abusing drugs)
The goal of DBT is to help people balance there emotions, thinking and behavior enough to have a life worth living.

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
This treatment is called Dialectical Behavior Therapy to reflect our underlying philosophy of accepting the client while pushing for change. “dialectics” is accepting that:
1) there are two sides to most stories; and
2) both sides are true to some extent; and3) the best solution is a synthesis or blend of both sides instead of insisting that just one side is correct
EXAMPLE: A client might say self-injury is okay because it helps him/her to cope with distress. However, his/her therapist might say self-injury is “bad”. Instead of stalemating, they agree that both sides are true: self-injury has been a powerful fix, but also makes things worse in the long run (like leading to hospitalization). Then the therapist and the client cooperate in finding other ways to cope.

The following brought a lot of freedom to me. It helped me realize that I’m not broken or defective for being a more emotional child. The follow was very validating to learn:

Some people are naturally emotional and were born that way. They cry easily, laugh easily, get mad easily, and so on. These emotions can be very strong. They may last a long time, or come and go very quickly.
For some of these people, invalidating environments take a toll. These are surroundings where there was abuse, or emotions were punished, ignored or just not understood or accepted. Here are some example of invalidating responses:
“You are stupid to feel that way!”
“You aren’t angry at her, you love her!”
“Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!”
“Just stop caring so much about it!”
“You shouldn’t be so scared!”
As a result , the emotional people are forced to stuff or explode. They learn to ignore emotions and rely too much on others for guidance on how to react. After stuffing, they may eventually take desperate measures to release their emotions or to assert themselves- like self-injury, aggression, ect.

As stated above, some people are naturally more emotional. In addition, some people have a genetic predisposition to problems like chemical dependency, depression, and other forms of mental illness that can all contribute to emotional dysregulation. We also believe that a person can develop emotional problems after experiencing a horrible life event.

Whatever the reason for emotional problems, DBT helps people take the middle ground of experiencing their emotions without having to stuff or explode. This makes everything else easier- like dealing with relationships or grieving past trauma.

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