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Dialectic Behaviour Therapy

Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (herein referred to as DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy.  Its main goal is to teach the client skills to cope with stress, regulate emotions and improve relationships with others. It is often used with those who have experienced complex/developmental trauma.

It is comprised of three fundamentals:

  1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  2. Validation of the client’s behaviour and responses as understandable in relation to the current life situation, and showing an understanding of the difficulties and suffering.
  3. Dialectics

DBT is derived from a process called dialectics. The concept of dialectics is

  1. All things are interconnected.
  2. Change is constant and inevitable
  3. Systematic reasoning that looks at contradictory ideas and seeks to resolve conflict

DBT is based on the fact that some children react differently to emotional stimulation. This could be due to genetic, environmental or traumatic experiences. Their arousal goes up much more quickly, peaks higher and takes more time to return to baseline. It is often used to treat Borderline Personality Disorder and self-harmful behaviours.

DBT requires that the person take responsibility for their behaviours and helps them examine how they deal with conflict and negative emotions.

DBT often involves a combination of group and individual sessions.



Links or Useful Resources for DIALECTIC BEHAVIOUR THERAPY: –
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) –
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health –
DBT Self Help –
Portland Dialectic Behaviour Therapy Program –